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Damon’s first contact with the criminal legal system occurred as a teenager, when he became entangled with guns and drugs on the streets of Baltimore.
Even though he was only 16 years old, prosecutors charged him as if he were an adult.
But then something happened that Damon says saved his life: A judge returned his case to the juvenile court, where it should have been in the first place. The judge decided Damon was able to return home to his family, instead of being sent to jail.
There, with a new appreciation for being home and off the streets, he turned his life around.
Three decades later, Damon now works to give youth the chance he received – advocating for alternatives to incarceration that offer youth education, structure, and purpose.