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Support group for ‘prison families’

Families with a child in prison are invited to find support and encouragement from others in their situation during a free event this month.

FORJ Missouri, the first chapter of Families and Friends Organizing for Reform of Juvenile Justice, will kick off a child advocacy campaign from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Centenary Methodist Church, SEMO Campus, 300 N. Ellis, Cape Girardeau.

Speakers will include author and poet Dwayne Betts; Stan Greer, whose son died in the prison in Bonne Terre; Joshua Kezer, who was released after 16 years in prison for a wrongful conviction; Farmington native Tracy McClard, whose son also died in prison in Bonne Terre and who organized FORJ Missouri; Missouri Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Coordinator Bob Perry; and Sheriff Rick Walter, who reopened Kezer’s case, which eventually cleared Kezer of murder charges.

Refreshments will be served. 

FORJ focuses on youth who are treated as adults by the judicial system. The group educates lawmakers and the public about alternatives to imprisonment with adults while keeping youth and communities safe.

For more information, contact McClard at 573-837-7346 or at The group’s website is at

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