In 1994 Kemba Smith was convicted of drug crimes in the midst of our country’s War on Drugs. A first time, non-violent offender, she was sentenced to 25 1/2 years in federal prison. After serving 6 1/2 years, President Clinton granted her clemency in December, 2000. Now she is an advocate for returning felons and speaks out against mandatory minimum sentencing, the War on Drugs, collateral consequences to released prisoners, and other relevant topics. Often labeled ‘the poster child’ for reversing a disturbing trend in the rise of lengthy sentences for first-time, non-violent drug offenders, Kemba’s story has been featured on BET, CNN, Nightline, and a host of other TV programs.
Last year she published her long-awaited memoir: Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story
On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Kemba will be speaking at Armstrong State University at 7:00 p.m. in University Hall, Room 156. The public is invited to this free event to hear this young woman, one of the causalities in America’s War on Drugs, tell her story and dis- cuss the ills of our criminal justice system from the perspective of a convicted felon and as a renown activist.