Improve the lives of systems-impacted individuals in South Florida through peer support, advocating for alternatives to incarceration, and equipping them with the tools needed to dismantle the prison industrial complex.
Chainless Change is a South Florida–based recovery community organization working to end the disproportionate and unjust impacts of the criminal legal system on people with behavioral health conditions. Its two main programs, Peers Optimistically Working to End Recidivism (POWER) and Community Advocates Mobilizing for POWER (CAMP), provide recovery-oriented services, unite systems-impacted people, and amplify the voices of disenfranchised populations. Working in heavily policed, under-resourced communities plagued by intergenerational trauma, marginalization, and minimal social services, Chainless Change equips people affected by mass incarceration with the tools and resources needed to dismantle the prison industrial complex.
Marq Mitchell spent seven years incarcerated before he was 22 years old. As a child of formerly incarcerated parents, from an early age he experienced the school-to-prison pipeline, child welfare systems, and the criminal legal system. With his deep understanding of the challenges that justice-involved people face, Marq created Chainless Change, a community of recovery, advocacy, and support for those affected by the criminal legal system.
Marq is a Voqal Fellow, Roddenberry Fellowship awardee, Radical Partners Neighborhood Hero, The Sentencing Project’s Race and Justice Award recipient, Broward Young Democrats 2020 “Trailblazer of the Year,” and a member of New Leaders Council (Broward). He is also a member of the Florida Behavioral Health Block Grant Planning Council and the Fines and Fees Justice Center Advisory Board.
Although Marq studied at two colleges, he believes his most valuable lessons were his personal experiences with being a Black man in America and overcoming the barriers associated with a history of behavioral health conditions, incarceration, and poverty.
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