Maya Ragsdale

Beyond the Bars

A survivor of domestic violence and partner of an incarcerated person, Maya Ragsdale made her way to law school after years of volunteering with community-based organizations.

She became a public defender in Miami, representing indigent clients, many of whom overdosed, committed suicide, or were killed within months of their release. She co-founded Beyond the Bars after the COVID pandemic tore through the jails in Miami, advocating for the rights and welfare of the incarcerated and developing programs to support and assist the formerly incarcerated. The group also works to create the space to shift the public narrative about mass incarceration and public safety.