About Lakeith:
Lakeith Amir-Sharif is a Navy veteran, a Veteran Mentor with the VA’s transitional housing program at the St. Vincent De Paul Center of Hope, and an advocate for criminal justice reform.

Lakeith co-founded Handout’s Books Through Bars Project, and has worked for many years with several individuals and groups, like publisher/editor Paul Wright of Prison Legal News (PLN), Making the Walls Transparent (MTWT), Critical Resistance, and ACLU National Prison Project, to improve our judicial system and help raise awareness about the conditions and consequences of mass incarceration and wrongful convictions.

Lakeith is currently attending college pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in hopes of becoming a Veteran Court Advocate or Juvenile Court Advocate. Since 2021, Lakeith has worked at the 6th Judicial Circuit’s Public Defender Office and spoke at the Pinellas County Delegation Meeting on September 9, 2021, about the critical role that Books Through Bars projects serve in helping reduce our nation’s recidivism rates.

Lakeith is also a prolific writer of prose about the prison system, and the political system that funds it, including the article “Sharif’s Day At The Courthouse,” and poetry, a few pieces included on the Voices Behind Bars page.

Learn more about Lakeith on his website here.

image of Sharif by
Steve Perlman
Sharif with Thomas McGowan, Dallas County’s “16th” Exoneree
from a Making The Walls Transparent video
Making The Walls Transparent

About Joel:
Joel is the founder of Handout, and co-founder of the Books Through Bars project.
Other projects include:
Exploding Brooklyn podcast: Exploding Brooklyn tells the stories of North Brooklyn’s industrial history in Greenpoint and Williamsburg on Newtown Creek; and the people who lived and died amidst industrial mayhem as this backwoods of New York City became an epicenter of shipping and commerce.
Boulevardiers: The Greenpoint Oil Spill novel (2010), part of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s collection.
Original music includes score to feature film World’s Best Dad.

image of Joel

Resources & Other BTB projects
Wrongful Convictions
Mission Statement and How To Donate
Voices Behind Bars
About Books Through Bars