Juvenile lifer, Giovanni “Jerry” Reid has been incarcerated for over 25 years, since he was 16, and has been serving a Juvenile Life Without Parole sentence. Giovanni lives at Graterford State Correctional Institution, 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
Because he was a juvenile at the time he was arrested, Giovanni qualifies for resentencing under the January 2016 SCOTUS ruling, Montgomery vs. Louisiana. His LWOP sentence was vacated on April 1st 2016, and he has been waiting all year for the next step – resentencing. Giovanni’s hope is that his new sentence will mean that he will already have surpassed the minimum imposed, so that he can proceed immediately to release with a short period of parole support that helps him establish adult life in society for the first time.
2016 has been a nail-biting and frustrating year for Giovanni, but things are starting to move now, and the end of the year has brought some hopeful developments. The episodes below represent the ongoing coverage of his and his family’s experiences as he negotiates the complex bureaucratic and judicial process of the implementation of Montgomery. You can hear the perspectives of his father, sister, and long-time advocate La Tasha Williams. There are readings, by a surrogate, of his letters to juvie from prison, his own voice on phone calls, and updates on his case.