"U.S. drug laws have unjustly targeted and weakened the African American community"
Garry L. Jones witnessed the futility of the U.S. policy of a war on drugs from the belly of the beast - retiring as a senior lieutenant after a 16 year career in our nations state and federal prison systems. "How can we hope to keep drugs out of our schools" Garry musses, "if we can't keep drugs out of maximum security prisons." In 2005 Garry became a LEAP Speaker because he wants to support alternative policies that will lower the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction, four categories made infinitely worse by the war on drugs.
Born and raised in Kinston North Carolina, Garry attended North Carolina Central University, earning a B.A. Degree in Criminal Justice in 1986.
Following graduation, he was employed as a Corrections Officer by the D.C. Department of Corrections in Lorton, Virginia. In 1988, Garry moved back to North Carolina, where he was employed as a Case Manager at the Triangle Correctional Institute in Raleigh, and the Goldsboro Correctional Center in Goldsboro. In January of 1991, he began working for the U.S. Department of Justice at the Federal Prison Camp Seymour Johnson, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In September of 1993, Garry was promoted to Lieutenant and worked at the Federal Prison Camp Seymour Johnson. In July 1995 he was promoted to Senior Lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Florida.
In 1993 Garry was awarded "Correctional Officer of the Year" for outstanding leadership abilities and in 2005 he received an award from the National Campaign of Tolerance for fighting for community justice and against injustice everywhere.
Since retiring in July 2003, Garry Jones has traveled much of the United States lecturing and organizing citizens to action. His work includes teaching others how to change the laws that over emphasize imprisonment, specifically addressing mandatory minimum sentencing for drug law violations, which have unjustly targeted and weakened the African American community.