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Former inmate could inadvertently help build state’s mega-prisons

“Here I am on a job now having to deliver the steel that is going to be laying the foundation of building something that I’m totally against”
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s only been four years since Tuskegee pastor Kita Moss was released from an Alabama prison after serving 13 years behind bars.

“It was horrific. It was disgusting to me as a person,” said Moss on the conditions inside.

But in a twist of irony, he could soon become part of the process of building Alabama’s new mega-prisons, part of the solution lawmakers came up with to fix the state’s prison crisis that resulted in a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Here I am on a job now having to deliver the steel that is going to be laying the foundation of building something that I’m totally against,” Moss said. “That has me between a rock and a hard place, but of course, I have to work. I have to have a job, but that doesn’t make me be for it.”

Before he was tasked with laying the prison’s foundation, he lived within it. And Moss said he’s more disappointed in himself than the system.

“I know that my upbringing did not steer me in that direction,” Moss said. “I grew up with both my parents, came to school here in Montgomery, [attended] Alabama State, and began to get off on the wrong track,” he explained. “And because of that, I begin to get into white-collar crimes. And based on my white-collar crime, experience, I ended up being incarcerated.”

Moss says he’s against the state’s plan to build two larger prisons. If he can’t stop the building of the prisons, Moss says he wants to help others, specifically juveniles, avoid the system.

Moss is in the beginning stages of starting a program called STOP, short for Stop-Think-Observe-Plan, to serve as a liaison between the juvenile court system, juvenile probation officers, juvenile diversion centers, and group homes.

“I think that what we have to do is we have to go back to the root, and we have to deal with the children,” he explained. “And we have to get them to understand that if they don’t change here, then that’s where the end result is going to lead in the Alabama Department of Corrections,” Moss said.

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