Edgar Barens received his Bachelors degree and Masters of Fine Arts and Photography from Southern Illinois University. His body of work includes documentary films, experimental shorts, music videos and public service announcements, which have been screened at numerous festivals, conferences, broadcast nationally and internationally, as well as distributed educationally. Mr. Barens directs and produces documentary films that explore the many issues at play in the American criminal justice system. Prior to Prison Terminal, Barens' most significant documentary film was A Sentence of Their Own for which he garnered the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) award – the only national award recognizing film makers who focus on our criminal justice system in a thoughtful and considerate manner.
Amy Borror is the Director of Policy and Outreach for the Ohio Office of the Public Defender. From 2004-2014 Amy served as the office's spokesperson and as its lobbyist at the Ohio General Assembly. In her current role she oversees OPD's role as a resource for public defenders, private defense counsel, and others in Ohio's justice system. Amy has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences about OPD's legislative efforts on criminal and juvenile justice issues and in March 2009 she was one of seven witnesses invited to testify before Congress at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime's hearing on barriers to states implementation of the Adam Walsh Act. Prior to joining the OPD Amy worked at the Ohio Senate, the Ohio House of Representatives, and the Ohio Bar association.
Anthony Bouyer has been a Probation Officer with the Toledo Municipal Court for 21 years and has also worked as a campus police officer and state probation/parole officer. He holds a B.A. from Saginaw Valley State College and M.A. from the University of Toledo both in Sociology, Counseling and Education. Mr. Bouyer is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Toledo working on his dissertation. He is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor with a clinical supervisor endorsement from the State of Ohio. He received the Shining Star Award in 2015 from the Provost at the University of Toledo as an example of ICare standards.
Retired District Court Judge William Buhl is a native of Deckersville in Sanilac County on the state of Michigan's east side. He graduated with his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1967. He was hired in 1968 as a part-time prosecutor in Van Buren County. In 1971 he became the first full time prosecuting attorney in the county. Judge Buhl still gets Christmas cards from a man he twice ordered to prison for life for a drug-related murder. “If you treat defendants by the same rules of courtesy as everyone else – give them fundamental due process, treat them with dignity, you'll get it back”, the 68 year old jurist said during an interview in the Van Buren County courthouse. “They know who looks down their noses at them. I feel that but for the grace of God, I could be in their shoes.” Judge Buhl has testified against the Michigan Drivers Responsibility Fees which place hardships on people trying to dig out from financial burdens, he has argued for revamping Michigan's sex offender registry act and helped start the Van Buren Drug Treatment Court in 2008.
Jim Prager MSW is a Licensed Social Worker since 2011. He was incarcerated for a sex offense in Michigan from 1991 until 2000. Since being paroled he has been able to rebuild his life, reconnect with his children and find a new partner in life. Since 2005 Jim has been active with the Reentry Coalition of N.W. Ohio and involved in helping our returned citizens at such events as Citizens Circles and other support programs. He is on the Steering Committee for the National Prisoner Family Conference, the author of the book Mind of a Molester, and an advocate for individuals and families dealing with incarceration.
Kim Kensler-Prager is the owner of Tyme for Travel. Tyme for Travel started in 2010 as way to help addicted people travel safer. She is political activist interested in prison reform and social justice. She consults with individuals and groups with their travel needs i.e. air, hotels and car rentals. Her specialties are Florida and the Caribbean. Kim is currently working on a group anniversary cruise next March.
Kendra Kec is the Assistant Court Administrator at the Lucas County Juvenile Court in Toledo, Ohio. In her role at that court she assists the Court Administrator in the daily oversight of all court, probation, mediation, Detention Center and Treatment Center operations. She has led the development and implementation of the court's Detention Reform Initiative and as a result of her leadership the Lucas County Juvenile Detention Center was recognized for its excellence in programming by the National Juvenile Detention Association in 2004. Kendra serves as Vice Chair of the Ohio Governor's Council on Juvenile Justice (State Advisory Group) and served as the first Chairperson of the State of Ohio Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Executive Steering Committee from 20o09-2015. In addition Kendra has served as faculty for the National Drug Court Institute, The Supreme Court of Ohio and for the Anne E. Casey Foundation. Kendra is certified as a Juvenile Court Administrator by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Most recently, Kendra authored Juvenile Justice in Ohio, found in Ohio's Criminal Justice System published by Carolina Academic Press. She graduated from the University of Toledo with a Masters Degree in Public Administration and from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice.
is a 1990 graduate of Notre Dame Academy and a 1994 graduated of Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology. She obtained her Juris Doctor fron Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1997 and passed the Ohio State Bar Examination the following year. Karyn maintained a general law practice from 1998 – 2007 representing clients in the area of criminal defense, civil litigation, domestic relations, personal injury, bankruptcies, real estate transactions, and business organizations. She is also a former Toledo City Councilwoman where she was the President Pro Tempore, and has served on numerous community boards throughout the state of Ohio. In 2008 Karyn was convicted of Aggravated Theft and served 19 months at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio and Franklin Pre-Release Center in Columbus. This period of incarceration lit the fire for Karyn's passion to work in the field of Reentry and helping returning citizens (particularly women) discover a sense of hope and purpose in shaping their futures post incarceration. Karyn is now the Reentry Program Coordinator for Empowered for Excellence where she is in a position to touch lives and empower people with her testimony; but she says that her hardest job and greatest accomplishment is raising her two beautiful children LJ age 11, and Lauryn age 8.
Willie Knighten, Jr. 43, a resident of Toledo, is a former gang leader who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1997. In 2009, his life sentence was commuted by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Since his release Mr. Knighten has worked to change the mindset of young men who are growing up on the streets and who do not see a way out. He has worked for the Ridge Project the last four years as a case manager. He also facilitates fatherhood, healthy marriage, and workforce development curriculum's. In September, 2015 he was invited to take part in a local TED talk. He attended the University of Toledo briefly as a music major and has received a certificate of qualification for employment through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. He is an Ohio licensed chemical dependency counselor assistant, anti-gang activist, and mentor to at-risk youth. Mr. Knighten is married and has a blended family of seven children and four grandchildren. In his spare time Willie loves to play billiards and is a competitive chess player.
Jacob Spellis LSW and CDCA is currently pursuing his Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan. After obtaining his GED from the Lucas County Correctional Tretament Facility he had a vision to revamp and reform the criminal justice system. He currently serves on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, is a board member of the Rentry Coalition, is a member of the Lucas County Juvenile Court Advisory Council, and works at New Concepts running a criminal justice outpatient group. His current work is with the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute focusing on criminal justice macro issues and with the Lucas County Juvenile Court administration. Returning citizens deserve the right to stop being second chance citizens in America.