Aug. 7, 2017
Brian Ferguson was a 20-year-old college student in West Virginia when he was accused in 2002 of fatally shooting a fellow classmate. Mr. Ferguson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole, and he remained in prison until a committed team of pro bono lawyers won his release and exoneration for the crime in 2013. After his release, Mr. Ferguson returned to Washington, D.C. and soon discovered a gap in services for people re-entering society after incarceration. In response to these challenges, he developed Start Line, which he describes as a kind of Yelp for returning citizens. Brian Ferguson enrolled at Georgetown University after meeting government professor Marc Howard, who launched the university’s Prisons and Justice Initiative, which addresses pressing policy and moral issues surrounding prison reform and mass incarceration through programs and events. Professor Howard joins Mr. Ferguson in this episode.