National Prison Reform Minister Abdullah Muhammad acknowledged that the work of the panelists to fight to free others wrongfully convicted is fulfilling scripture during his Saviours’ Day 2024 workshop Photos: Cartan X

DETROIT—The Nation of Islam’s National Prison Reform Ministry held an inspiring, empowering and at times emotional discussion during Saviours’ Day 2024 about the need to fight for those behind prison walls throughout the United States.

At its core, the National Prison Reform Ministry—headed for decades by Student National Prison Reform Minister Abdullah Muhammad—has in large part been using the collective talents and experiences of those helping in that ministry to promote Point Number 5 of the “Muslim Program: What the Muslims Want.”

This point reads in part: “We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. We want freedom for all black men and women now under the death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South …” (To read it in its entirety see the inside back page of every edition of The Final Call.)

To highlight this need and to show the work being done via the Prison Reform Ministry and the community, Student Minister Abdullah Muhammad introduced the audience to six exonerated Black men from the state of Michigan who between them, had 114 years of their lives taken from them due to false imprisonment, explained Trische Duckworth of Survivor’s Speak, who moderated the panel.


Once released, they came together to help others.

“We understood coming out, that in order to make change, we needed to stand together and in so doing we helped create the Organization of Exonerees,” said Kenneth Nixon who did nearly 16 years of wrongful incarceration. “We travel the country advocating for other innocent people. Advocating policy change so other people don’t have to experience what we have.”

The panelists gave some great tips on how to support an incarcerated person, whether they were wrongfully convicted or not. Even those rightfully convicted, if supported, can have a better chance to be productive once they are released.

During the N.O.I. annual Saviours’ Day weekend, Feb. 23-24, The National Prison Reform Ministry held a workshop with The Organization of Exonerees who stand with National Prison Reform Minister Abdullah Muhammad and travel the country advocating policy change for innocent men and women wrongfully imprisoned.

It’s important to keep the names and positive things about the incarcerated alive on the outside, say returning citizens, especially those who are wrongfully convicted. “Those long days when nobody was saying our names, were longer when you were innocent,” said Kevin Harrington.

Additionally, it may surprise many that people incarcerated don’t want to be shielded from the challenges people face on the outside, especially the wrongfully incarcerated because many of them are networking both inside and outside the prison looking for people to help them advocate for their release.

“When people don’t tell you the truth because they don’t want to put burdens on you while you are in prison, but we want to know what’s going on with the problems because we are networking and people are chiming in offering to help. Can we help you? Can we help your family? We just want to show love,” said Kevin Harrington who spent 17 years wrongfully incarcerated.

Student Minister Abdullah, in closing the workshop, acknowledged that the work of the panelists to fight to free others wrongfully convicted is fulfilling scripture. He also emphasized that the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Teaching as taught by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is the ultimate salvation for Black people and all poor and oppressed people.

“You need to watch Minister Farrakhan. You need to read the scriptures. It says, when you see him, look at him. Not just look, study him. Then when you see him and you see what he does, then find the scripture to confirm that’s the fulfiller. Our God is present,” he said.

Attendees and panelists expressed appreciation for work done by Student Minster Abdullah, and Detroit’s Student Minister Troy Muhammad and Bro. Carl 3X.

Panelists for the workshop and how much time they served included: Kenneth Nixon,16 years; Eric Anderson, 9 years; Darrell Siggers, 34 years; Marvin Cotton Jr.,19 years; Anthony Legion, 19 years; and Kevin Harrington, 17 years