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Meet the Authors

Tia L. Ryans is an advocate and a direct witness to the insidious and detrimental impacts of the criminal legal system. Her areas of passion and study surround the intersectionality between environmental, social, and criminal injustices that affect disenfranchised communities. She is the proud founder of Forcing Out Recidivism Through Education (F.O.R.T.E.) House and All of Us None-Northern New Jersey.

On February 17, 2022, Tia also became the first formerly incarcerated person to be appointed to any New Jersey Department of Corrections advisory role. She was appointed by Governor Phil Murphy as an Edna Mahan Correctional Facility Board of Trustees member. 

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Karen B. Kaplan spent 30 years in corporate communications and change management as a consultant to large companies before retiring to take on more personal projects. When she heard a recorded interview with Kalief Browder, she decided to focus time and effort on organizations working to change and abolish the criminal justice system. This eventually connected her to Tia Ryans. A graduate of Cornell University, Karen lives and writes in Summit, NJ with her husband, Howard Kaplan, who is also a writer.

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