At age 20, Roach Brown was convicted of murder and received a life sentence.  While in solitary confinement Roach wrote a poem in the dust under his bunk called "Christmas in Prison".  The poem evolved into a play called "Christmas in Time" and The Inner Voices drama group was formed.  After 500 performances outside the gates of Lorton Reformatory, on Christmas Day 1975, Roach Brown received a  Presidential Commutation from President Gerald Ford.  That's why every day is Christmas to Roach Brown.  
Merry Xmas!

Inner Voices: The Story of Roach Brown

The Inner Voices:
The Story of Roach Brown

     "Twelve Years That Shaped Washington" 

Visit Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum now through October 23, 2016 to hear how The Inner Voices laid a foundation here in its hometown Straight Out of Lorton Reformatory. Be sure to put headphones on to view and listen to special short film featuring Roach Brown. This production was sponsored by American University's Fall 2015 Comm Doc Class, Nina Shapiro-Perl, edited by student Kelsey Hasmonek.   

Check out "The Story of Roach Brown" at Anacostia Museum before October 23, 2016
Roach Brown, Host of  CROSS ROADS  radio show and Nkechi Taifa, Justice Round Table, convened the first ever "RADIOTHON ON CLEMENCY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES", on Friday, June 17, 2016. The event was held from noon - 6:00 pm. A varied array of criminal justice professionals, recently released Obama commutees, and currently incarcerated individuals all participated to offer solutions to mass incarceration.


This movie will be shown on HBO. Red Onion Prison in West Virginia is highlighted. Prison officials can place an inmate in solitary confinement; not the judge or the courts. Men have been in solitary confinement for days, months, years, even decades. It has been proven that NO ONE should be in solitary confinement more than 15 days! These prisons are called SuperMax prisons. They have risen from one prison to 44 prisons across the nation. 


A play written by a woman in solitary confinement who is the mother of two who has not seen or touched her children in over 12 years. The day she was scheduled to go home, she threw a cup of water at a nurse. She was immediately given four more years. Roach participated on a panel discussion afterwards. This national touring play was sponsored in Washington, DC by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).



A movie that debuted during DC Film Festival and directed by Ben Lear. Teenagers who have been given life and double life sentences with no option for parole.

  "Roach" Brown on The Rock Newman Show

Roach tells his life story of pitfalls and triumphs. From being sent to prison for life, then being commuted by a President to creating a popular Washington DC radio show. Not just a story about falls, but how many times you can get back up on your feet! Great interview with a man who greets people year round with a smile, a handshake and the warm greeting of "Merry Christmas"!

Roach Brown on the Rock Newman Show

Roach Brown on 
Rock Newman Show


Roach Brown was one of a distinguished group of dedicated criminal justice professionals who participated on one of the most effective panels ever convened. Listen to excerpts here. 

Roach Brown at the American Justice

Roach Brown at 
American Justice
 Reform Panel

Roach Brown has been invited to The White House for White House Champions of Change for Expanding Fair Chance Opportunities.



Thousands of men and women are still doing impossible time for marijuana from the "War on Drugs" and marijuana is legal in many states in America?  

Many women are found daily hung or killed inside prisons and are labeled suicides.  WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY NOW!

Thousands of men and women who went in as teenagers have done 20, 30, even 40 years and are still inside? LET MY PEOPLE GO! 


Join Ben's Chili Bowl as they celebrate their 58th Anniversary in business. Ben's Chili Bowl - an institution in this city; survivor of the 1968 riots. The Nats Mobile will be there as well as its Mascot, Teddy Roosevelt. There will be games and prizes. The Department of Parks and Recreation will be on board. Local artists will perform and be judged!

See you at Ben's Chili Bowl, 1213 U Street, NW, Washington, DC, this Saturday, August 20, 2016 from noon - 3:00 pm.   

Join Al-Malik Farrakhan on Saturday, August 27, 2016 from noon - 8pm for its 9th Annual Six Months Moratorium To Stop the Killings! There will be a cookout with plenty of free food & health check ups. Amateur boxing starts at 3pm. Celebrity guests include Team Familiar, JETT Black DC & Wisdom Speeks.

This is the largest cookout for returning citizens on the East Coast. WPFW is broadcasting LIVE!

Al-Malik Farrakhan, Cease Fire Don't Smoke the Brothers and Sisters in association with Universal Madness & Nation's Capital Boxer, Alphonso Hatcher.

See you next Saturday, August 27 from noon - 8pm at Upshur Recreation Center, 14th & Arkansas Avenue, NW., Washington, DC

WPFW Live Broadcast!

For more info call 202-210-1960


What it's like to have lunch with the President who gave you your freedom.

The renewed focus on clemency comes as Obama strives to make the most of his last months in office. While criminal justice reform efforts are  stalled in Congress , many see the clemency power as an opportunity for the President to make real changes for federal inmates.

So far, Obama has granted over 500 clemencies- more than any other President  since Franklin D. Roosevelt, but far less than the 10,000 that administration officials at one time predicted.

At the lunch, Obama got to meet three of the individuals he had given freedom, along with four others who had received clemency from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The former inmates who met with the President described feeling a combination of utter shock and joy. "You knew he was the President, but he made you feel so comfortable and welcome," Jenkins said. "I told him, 'Today you made me feel like Cinderella.'"

After Obama surprised them in the Roosevelt room, the group rode along in his motorcade, shooting through downtown D.C. to Busboys and Poets , a restaurant that employs formerly incarcerated people. Over sandwiches, they talked to the President about their lives.

The former inmates said Obama asked them a lot of questions, focusing especially on the barriers they faced or were facing once they got out of prison. "I was telling President Obama about the difference it's made to have a job waiting for me already when I got out," Jenkins said. She's now working at a wholesale company in Oregon.

Ramona Brant, center, walks into the restaurant with Obama.  Ramona Brant, who served 21 years  of a life sentence  before being granted clemency by Obama in December, said it took her a minute to realize she was actually sitting next to him-especially because she's still living in a halfway house and is still in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.  "I thanked him for believing in me," Brant said. "I promised I would never let him down, he would never have to worry about his name being tainted for signing the paperwork allowing me to be free."
For the larger group of former inmates who visited the White House on Thursday, it was a day of mixed emotions-joy at being free and sadness for the friends who were still behind bars.

"Merry Christmas!" proclaimed Rhozier "Roach" Brown, 71, as he stood in line to get into the White House. He wore a blue suit with gold buttons, a naval captain's hat, and a white mustache. "Every day is Christmas on this side of the fence."  Brown, who was  convicted of murder in 1965 , applied to President Nixon for clemency several times and was denied. But President Ford accepted Brown's petition on Christmas Day 1975 (after pardoning Nixon).  Clemency, Brown told me, was "like reincarnation"-"You go from the darkness to the light," he said.  In his lifetime, he stressed, he had never seen the kind of attention in the general public to criminal justice reform and helping former inmates.

Inside the briefing room in the White House's Eisenhower Office Building, as attendees waited for the event to start, there were shouts of recognition as inmates who served time at the same prison saw each other for the first time in years. Especially among female prisoners, several said, there's a sort of sisterhood that lasts much longer than a sentence.

Sitting in the back of the room was Phyllis Hardy, 72, who was released from prison last year after  serving 23 years  on a drug charge. Female inmates who served with Hardy gave her hug after hug, calling her "momma" and "grandma," and the pearls around her neck shook as she embraced them.

"You do a crime, but that doesn't mean it has to define you for life," Hardy told me. "God gives us a second chance, so why can't us humans learn to help each other too?"

Perhaps the most emotionally resonant moments were discussions of what Obama meant to people behind bars. Shauna Berry Scott, who served 10 years before a commutation from the president in 2015, remembered election night in November 2008. "When they announced he won, there was such a roar that the building shook," she said. "That election was so electrifying, it was like everyone in the building was jumping up and down and screaming."

As she started to break into tears, Berry Scott quoted James Baldwin: "The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off."
Obama's election, to her, meant freedom. "I knew he was going to be the fulfillment of so many of us getting out of there," she said.

Roach Brown
The Inner Voices