In 1996, Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a non-violent marijuana offense. He would spend nearly two decades in the Missouri Department of Corrections, before a group of family, friends, and supporters would build a media campaign that led to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to commute his sentence, allowing him to be released on parole. On September 1, 2015 Jeff was released from Jefferson City Correctional Center to a crowds of loved ones and supporters.
Derrick Marshall of Marshall of Marshall & Associates Investigations acted as Jeff’s private investigator as he fought for his freedom. Now a little more than a year after his release, Derricks visits Jeff at his worksite to see how he’s adjusting to society.
In the interview Jeff talks about how much money the tax payers spent to prevent him from being a productive member of society, short comings in the criminal justice system, and the failures of the drug war that led to him serving a life sentence for marijuana. He also opens up about how, although he is still somewhat uncomfortable talking in front of cameras, he believes it is absolutely necessary to create a desperately needed change in the system. Jeff strongly encourages others who have dealt with the prison system and lived to tell about it to speak out about their experience.
Jeff is currently running a construction crew, which he uses as an opportunity to teach younger men a valuable skill they can use to provide for their family. At the time of the interview, they were in the process of pouring the foundation for a tornado-resistant, octagon home near Jeff’s hometown of Sedalia, MO. He used the opportunity to demonstrate his skills for camera crew.
The owner of the home they are building, Herb Venable, described Jeff as a blessing and expressed disdain that the state would feel it necessary to waste taxpayer’s money to incarcerate a non-violent offender for such a draconian-sentence.
Jeff wrapped up the interview by thanking all their supporters for their continued support. He also took the opportunity to stress the fact that the current system needs a serious revamping. He firmly believes that unless we stand up to the status quo, we will remain in this position. He simply asks that everyone do their part.
Jeff Mizanskey On Medical Care In Prison
In a separate video from the interview, Jeff talks about some of the short comings in the prison’s medical care system. Jeff talks about the lymphoma that developed on his arm. Jeff says it grew over 15 years due to the refusal of the prison’s medical staff to take it seriously.
Jeff says the staff began to take interest when the media became involved in Jeff’s case. When he finally got a proficient screening, the doctor told him the roots of the lymphoma could be tangled around nerves, and that removing it could cause loss of feeling or control of his arm. Jeff is currently awaiting an appointment with the VA to analyze the problem, before making a decision as to how to deal with it.
Marshall & Associates Investigations
Citizens For Justice