Listen To ‘From The Numbers’

Storytellers Share Their Stories of Redemption
Safe & Just Michigan, in partnership with Muskegon-based Fresh Coast Alliance, is excited to launch ‘From the Numbers,’ a new storytelling-based project that will inform the public about the realities faced by formerly incarcerated people as they seek to re-enter their communities and turn their lives around. We were also assisted by Lester Young of Path2Redemption, who helped teach storytelling. You can view the project at

The project highlights nine Michiganders who were incarcerated anywhere from two to 25 years or more. Some were sentenced to drug crimes, others to violent offenses including murder. Yet each tells a story about how they came to terms with the factors in their life that led them to prison, and how they chose to make changes to transform themselves. You’ll get to know people like Lorenzo Garrett, who received a gubernatorial commutation in 2020. You’ll get to know Lawanda Hollister, who said her search for love and acceptance led her to take a life in a moment of blind desperation — and how she learned how to find that love and acceptance within herself. 

Each of the nine participants is featured in both a video testimony and a blog post. Each person’s video is also summarized in a short version that is perfect for sharing on Twitter as well. In addition, there are many charts and graphics that help explain the scope of Michigan’s overreliance on incarceration and talking points. A downloadable social media tool kit also contains a FAQ, sample tweets and Facebook posts, resource links, and sample letters to the editor.

We encourage you to peruse these stories and to get to know some of the people From the Numbers. Then, please share it with your friends, associates, and everyone interested in redemption, second chances, and criminal justice reform. These are stories that deserve to be heard.