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April 7, 2022

The only formerly incarcerated member of Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), Keith’s 19 years in prison’s punishment and rehabilitation process taught him what doesn’t work. Keith Smalls is the founder and director of Community’s Keeper Mentor Group. He also is a frequent speaker on community issues including gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and grassroots community improvement and revitalization projects. Keith was awarded his GED by the Gateway Job Corps and later attended Trident Technical College.
After getting arrested at the age of 21, Keith spent 19 of the next 21 years of his life in the department of corrections. While serving time, Keith worked as a teacher’s assistant and mentored youthful offenders. One year after release, Mr. Smalls’ only son was a casualty of gun violence at the age of 17.
He serves as a Community Representative for the Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and as a Victim Impact Panel speaker for the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office Juvenile Diversion Program. He’s also a member of the Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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