Joseph Bennett was born and raised in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, MA in the Mission Hill Housing Development, and to those who know him as well as family and friends, he is affectionately known as “Toot” or “Joey”.
During his childhood, Joseph and his family experienced their first encounter with Social Injustice and racism, at the hands of the Boston Police in October 1989, when his Uncle, William “Willie” Bennett, was falsely accused of murder in the now-infamous “Charles Stuart and Carol Dimaiti Stuart” Case, which made local and national headlines.
Unfortunately, in 1993 time would repeat itself, and the young Joseph Bennett would find himself experiencing the same burden of being guilty before being proven innocent when he was falsely accused of the Morning Star Baptist Church Stabbing. Joseph found himself with the threat of losing his most basic right, Freedom. In the end, Joseph was not convicted of the crimes that he was accused of and in 1993, the District Attorney’s Office of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, determined his, filed and recorded his case as Nolle Prosequi.
Joseph spent the next few years trying to get re-acclimated with life and not having to look over his shoulder. Regrettably, history would rear its ugly head. In 1997, Joseph would face a situation that he was all too familiar with and that was being accused of something that he did not do. To say that this was a misunderstanding is an understatement. Joseph was once again facing the reality of being stripped of his basic rights and freedoms when he was falsely accused of 2nd Degree Murder in a Boston Night-Club. As a result of that case, Joseph was charged and convicted and was incarcerated for 22 years.
After years of proving his innocence and trying to regain his freedom, Joseph was granted bail in 2019, where he is still fighting his case with the goal of being exonerated for a crime that he did not commit.
Since Joseph’s release, he has made a commitment to building partnerships and improving the quality of life for inner-city African American youth and men of color in Boston. His mission is to share his story and provide services to those who are in need with the intention of breaking the cycle of mass minority incarceration.
Joseph is passionate and dedicated to healing through transformative justice by spreading awareness and addressing the issues that perpetuate black and brown men of color being imprisoned and the long-term effects that it has within the household and community.