Rehabilitation, Sports in CDCR

Sacramento Kings visit Folsom Prison

Sacramento Kings players walk through a prison cell block in Folsom.
The Sacramento Kings took a tour of Folsom Prison before playing basketball with inmates as part of Play for Justice. Photo courtesy NBA.

Represent Justice Campaign facilitates talks, healing

On Dec.12, 2019, the Sacramento Kings in partnership with One Community, working with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) as a part of the Represent Justice Campaign, facilitated a round-table conversation with incarcerated men at Folsom State Prison and players and coaches from the Kings. 

During the roundtable, incarcerated men discussed uplifting narratives of hope and redemption to break down stigmas associated with incarceration. Following the conversation, the Sacramento Kings served as players and coaches during an hour-long basketball game with incarcerated men.

The Sacramento Kings event provided an atmosphere that felt like attending a regular season NBA basketball game. The basketball court was outfitted with a tent that covered the entire court, equipped with lighting, bleachers and a scoreboard. A disc jockey played music throughout the game.

The 500 incarcerated men were able to enjoy popcorn, cotton candy, and water while watching the game. The halftime entertainment was provided by the tap dance group, The Syncopated Ladies.

First Play for Justice event

This event was the first of many the Represent Justice Campaign will facilitate. The events will be a series of discussions and basketball games at correctional facilities.

Vivek Ranadivé, Chairman, CEO and Governor of the Sacramento Kings, said they were proud to be the first participant in the Play for Justice initiative.

“(The initiative) is shining a bright light on the issues facing incarcerated people in communities around the country,” said Ranadivé. “Sports franchises have a unique opportunity to bring about positive change. In the past year, the Kings and the Bucks brought together leaders from across two cities to share best practices and find new solutions to social injustices. This collaboration with Represent Justice is another example of how we can use our platforms for good.”

Former incarcerated life-termer Adnan Khan hopes to use his story to propel reform.

“After being sentenced to life in prison and now free, I want people to see that I am the reflection, not the exception, of humanity hidden inside our prison walls. In starting and leading a successful justice reform organization, I want to share my story so that redemption and second chances are driving values in the effort to reform our legal system,” said Khan.

He is a Represent Justice Campaign surrogate, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Re:Store Justice, who will be participating in the Sacramento Kings activation.

“With the support of the players involved in Play for Justice, we are taking our message of humanizing system-impacted people far and wide,” he said.

By Lt. Ernie Valencia
Photos by Sacramento Kings/NBA

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