Tawanda Jennings, a 46-year-old California resident, finds herself facing a grave injustice as she continues to be unlawfully detained at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Jennings has been held on alleged criminal charges from New York, but recent investigations, with the help of Shawanna Vaughn, founder of human rights nonprofit Silent Cry Inc., have revealed that there are no criminal charges against her in the New York criminal system upon looking up the information.
What Happened To Due Process? Tawanda Jennings's Unlawful Detention Extended By New York's Warrant Failure
The sequence of events leading up to Tawanda Jennings' current situation raises concerns about the denial of due process. Jennings was arrested on June 2nd, 2023, and since then, she has been through several court hearings and extradition proceedings. However, during this period, New York has failed to produce a governor's warrant, crucial for her extradition. This failure further underscores the lack of legitimate grounds for her continued detainment.
Whatever happened to due process? According to Vaughn, this is negligence on the part of New York State.
Who Is Tawanda Jennings?
As a doctor of natural medicine and a psychotherapist, Tawanda Jennings has been an invaluable asset to her community, selflessly offering her services to individuals and families, regardless of their ability to pay. She extends her skills to incarcerated women, helping them cope with their challenging circumstances. Jennings’s dedication to her profession and her community is commendable, and it is essential that she be granted the right to defend herself against any charges appropriately, with due process and fairness.
Jennings’s personal circumstances make her detention even more distressing. She is a single mother with eight children, six of whom are minors. During her incarceration, her children have been under the care of her elderly mother, who is disabled and suffering from congestive heart failure. Furthermore, Jennings herself battles lupus and Hashimoto's disease, both chronic and potentially terminal illnesses. Her declining health, due to the lack of necessary medical treatment while in detention, poses a serious concern and raises humanitarian issues that demand immediate attention.
Anti-Violence Advocate Jamilia Land Joins Tawanda Jennings's Support Team
Jamilia Land, a California-based advocate for families experiencing trauma related to violence and police brutality, has joined Shawanna Vaughn and Silent Cry in the effort to free Jennings from her unlawful detention. Also known as “The Branding Maverick,” Land is a leader in numerous coalitions, most notably as co-founder of the Anti-Violence Safety and Accountability Project.
Jennings’s supporters call on Governor Gavin Newsom of California and Governor Kathy Hochul of New York to intervene on the doctor’s behalf and ensure that justice is served. Tawanda Jennings deserves her right to due process, and her deteriorating health necessitates urgent medical attention.
Those wishing to aid the efforts to free Jennings can write letters on her behalf to the addresses below. Additionally, all individuals and organizations who can extend assistance at this time are encouraged to contact Silent Cry.
Governor Gavin Newsom
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Governor Kathy Hochul
Office of the Governor
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Tawanda Jennings’s next court date is August 24th, 2023. Her supporters implore authorities to review her case with utmost urgency and compassion.
To support Tawanda Jennings and her family, please donate to her GoFundMe here.
For more information, please visit silentcryinc.org, or contact Dazzle Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Featured image: Courtesy of Silent Cry Inc.