Solitary Nation Podcast: Finding Redemption through Rescuing At-Risk Youths

In this Season #2 opener, Matt Duhamel talks about Larry Lawton, the creator of the “Reality Check Program. ”  Larry Lawton is the only ex-con ever in the United States to be sworn in as an honorary police officer and only ex-con ever to be recognized on the Floor of the United States Congress for his work with helping young people and law enforcement agencies.

You will hear discussion on how his program is helping at-risk youth, law enforcement, cities, schools, 0rganizations and families to help our youth become the best they can be.

Solitary Nation Podcast

Nancy Nordyke Shelley, Coordinator for Justice For All, an Affiliate of the STOP Mass Incarceration Network, joins Solitary Nation for this powerful second episode.

Nancy talks about her son’s experience with the criminal justice system (he was arrested, incarcerated but NEVER convicted) and the effects of mass incarceration in America.

Host, Matt Duhamel asks the tough questions about what needs to be done to fix the broken system.

JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030, while reducing crime. One way they are succeeding is by investing in successful formerly incarcerated leaders from across the United States.

Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Khalil A. Cumberbatch from JLUSA about how ex-offenders can be leaders in the community while working for criminal justice reform. The discussion also touches on how Mr. Cumberbatch, JLUSA founder, Glenn E. Martin and the additional team members are advocating for the permanent closure of Rikers Island Jail in New York. The video podcast includes Rikers Jail news footage, stills and infographics.

Studies on registered sex offenders have shown no significant increase in risk for non-familial child sexual abuse on or just prior to Halloween, though states and cities continue to pass restrictions that most say are based on fear and moral panic. Some states have enacted postings of signs that read: “No Candy at this Residence”, or “No trick, no treat, no candy” for registered sex offenders. (most of these restrictions are for sex offenders on parole or probation)

Brenda Jones, Executive Director of Reform Sex Offender (RSOL) Laws talks with Solitary Nation host, Matt Duhamel about these ill-based restrictions and how the mainstream media fuels the fear. Episode #5 is perhaps the biggest eye opener on how America treats registered sex offenders as second class citizens and social outcasts while banning them from holiday events, public locations and even churches.


Charlie Engle is a survivor. He’s been through drug and alcohol addiction, 16-months in federal prison, and numerous ultra-marathon runs including a 111 day run through the Sahara Desert and 6 countries.

Host, Matt Duhamel talks with Engle about resiliency and the possibility of redemption even though society thinks you don’t deserve it. Episode #3 is a must watch (or listen) for anyone that has been down in life but has the stamina to pull through and reach new heights.

There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail in the United States.  The number of children with a father in prison has grown by 79% since 1991.  The problem has become so devastating among children that when they have a parent in prison, it is now considered an Adverse Childhood Experience. (ACE)

These are staggering facts.  Host, Matt Duhamel interviews Erik Vecere from the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) to discuss what correctional facilities in America are doing to help men in prison to be better dads.  NFI’s, “InsideOut Dad” program is also discussed and how it’s been a proven system in reducing recidivism among incarcerated fathers.

Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Dr. Lisa Sample of Sexual Offense Policy Research (SOPR) about her latest research on registered sex offenders reintegrating and living in the community. Matt opens up the conversation about desistance from sex offending, offender registration and notification laws, public perceptions on sex offenders and the wide supported belief that registered sex offenders are the new “lepers” in modern day society.

Dr. Lisa Sample is the President of SOPR and is the Masters Program Coordinator at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

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