Friday, May 17, 2019, 9 am ET, Tarra Simmons, a returning citizen who was admitted to the Washington State Bar after a landmark court decision, was our guest on The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast with Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant – The Voice of CT Criminal Justice. Live on WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven, rebroadcast at 5 pm. Live-streaming and podcast everywhere, see below. Sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven – Now More Than Ever.
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Tarra Simmons is an Attorney and Skadden Fellow at the Public Defender Association where her project seeks to eliminate barriers to reentry through direct representation and policy advocacy. She is also the founding Executive Director of Civil Survival, an advocacy organization led by formerly incarcerated individuals committed to ending mass incarceration. Prior to law school, Ms. Simmons was incarcerated related to her own struggles with childhood trauma and substance use. During law school, she interned with five public interest organizations working to advance the rights of people currently or formerly incarcerated. She graduated in May 2017, magna cum laude, with the Dean’s Medal and the Graduating Student Award, but was initially denied the right to take the bar exam because of her own criminal history. It was national news when the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in her favor, allowing her to take the bar exam and become a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

Ms. Simmons has been appointed by Governor Inslee to both the Statewide Reentry Council and the Public Defense Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Legal Services Corporation Opioid Task Force and on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. She is a 2018 JustLeadershipUSA Fellow, and was recently named the 2018 WACDL Champion of Justice. She speaks frequently on issues relating to access to justice, criminal justice reform, and reentry. Ms. Simmons lives in Bremerton with her husband and children.  

Please tell your friends, colleagues and clients:  
The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast with Babz Rawls Ivy and Jeff Grant is broadcast live at 9 am ET on the first and third Friday of each month from the WNHH 103.5 FM studios in New Haven. It is rebroadcast on WNHH at 5 pm ET the same day.
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Season Two Guests:
Fri., Sept. 9: Kennard Ray, CT Unlock the Vote and Candidate for CT State Legislator 
Fri., Sept. 21: Louis L. Reed, National Organizer for #Cut50 
Fri., Oct. 5: Sue Gunderman & Beth Hines, CT Reentry Roundtables 
Fri., Oct. 19: Venice Michalsen, Assoc. Professor of Justice Studies, Montclair State University 
Fri., Nov. 16: Andrew Clark, Director of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, Central Connecticut State University  
Fri., Dec. 7: Glenn E. Martin,
Founder/Consultant of GEM Trainers and Past-President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA
Fri., Dec. 21: Ferando Muñiz, CEO of Community Solutions, Inc. and Rosa Correa, Community Leader
Fri., Jan. 4: CJI New Year’s Retrospective Show Looking Back at Past Guests  
Fri., Jan. 19: Peter J. Henning, Professor of Law, Wayne State University & “White Collar Watch” Columnist, NY Times 
Fri., Feb. 1: Jeffrey Deskovic, CEO of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation who was Exonerated after Serving 16 Years in Prison  
Fri., Feb. 15: Jeffrey Abramowitz, Executive Director for Reentry Services, JEVS Human Services, Philadelphia.
Fri., Mar. 1, Rollin Cook, CT Commissioner of Correction  
Fri., Mar. 15: Dieter Tejada, J.D., Justice Impacted Criminal Justice Advocate 
Fri., Apr. 5: John Rowland, Former CT Governor  
Fri., Apr. 19: Gregg D. Caruso, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Corning & Co-Director of the Justice Without Retribution Network at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland  
Fri., May 3: Michael Taylor, CEO of Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center in the Greater New Haven area  
Fri., May 17: Tarra Simmons, Esq., Attorney & Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Washington State  
Fri., June 7: Louis L. Reed, National Organizer for #Cut50, Part Deux!  
Fri., June 21: Marcus Bullock, CEO of Flikshop