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Speaker Series Ticket Information – Matthew Charles

Matthew Charles joins a news conference at the Cordell Hull building in Nashville on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 advocating for Tennessee legislation to make it easier for some felons to get their voting rights restored. Charles was one of the first prisoners released under criminal justice reform legislation recently signed by President Donald Trump. He attended the State of the Union speech at Trump's invitation. (AP Photo/Jonathan Mattise)

Convicted of selling crack cocaine, Matthew Charles served 21 years of a 35-year sentence before his early release from prison in 2016.

He was sent back to prison in May 2018 when it was ruled that the court had made an error in his release.

On Jan. 3 of this year, he finally received his freedom after the First Step Act, which included a provision that reduced sentences for crack cocaine-related offenses, became the law of the land.

One of the first people to be released under the law, Charles now looks for ways to serve the poor and is an advocate on behalf of those who are still in prison.

Sponsors include the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, Trinity Health System, Eastern Gateway Community College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, WesBanco, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTRF-TV. Special support is being provided by the Best Western Plus University Inn at Franciscan Square, Piergallini Catering, Steubenville High School, Newbrough Photo, Hertz-Thrifty Car Rental and the YWCA of Steubenville.

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