Washington D.C. – An inmate at the D.C. Jail has been elected to a seat on the Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The position had been vacant for a decade according to the Washington Times. Joel Caston, 44, beat four other inmates in the unprecedented election on Tuesday. He has been incarcerated for more than 25 years after being convicted of first-degree murder when he was 18.
Caston ran against four other fellow inmates. The election was pushed by the local prisoners’ rights group Neighbors for Justice.
Neighborhood commissioners serve two-year terms and represent more than 200 neighborhoods spread across 40 districts in the city.
Commissioners are not paid and they hold monthly meetings with residents to help resolve problems in their neighborhoods.