More Than Our Crimes, a group who advocates for individuals convicted of violent crimes who deserve a second chance, has been featured in an article published by the DCIST. The article, titled Meet The Duo Running A Publication By And For D.C.’s Prison Population, features More Than Our Crimes founders Pam Bailey and Robert Barton.
Mr. Barton has been incarcerated since he was 16, serving a 30-years-to-life-sentence. He is currently incarcerated in USP Coleman, a federal prison in Florida . In 2020 , he was denied a petition for early release through the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act after a two-year legal process. The D.C. law offers some people convicted as teenagers a shot at freedom, allowing them to ask for a sentence reduction after they’ve served at least 15 years.
Barton says that More Than Our Crimes is, at its heart, about making sure incarcerated people from D.C. can still be engaged residents, even from within the walls of federal prisons.
More Than Our Crimes co-founder, Pam Bailey, works doing communications for a nonprofit and is a participant in the ReThink Justice DC Coalition. Bailey and Barton have ambitious goals — they want More Than Our Crimes to be a viable organization with proper funding so that they can run it full-time.
“The niche we see ourselves filling is really being the voice for D.C. residents who are still incarcerated,” Bailey says. “All the candidates and officeholders — they should be hearing from them. I think we have an obligation to them. They’re still D.C. residents and in fact, D.C. did a shameful thing when they sent them into the BOP. And I really do believe that there’s a moral responsibility to them.”