John Artis and Rubin Hurricane Carter were convicted and spent ten years in prison before witnesses recanted and they were granted a second trial. Tried, convicted and sentenced a second time, both men spent another 15 years incarcerated before charges were dismissed. John and Rubin were exonerated and released in 1981.
While in prison, John became Vice President of the Lifer’s Group at Rahway Prison and helped to form a juvenile awareness program. Once released, he started an organization called “Creating Youth Awareness” to help troubled youth stay out of prison.
For the following 30 years, John worked in juvenile detention centers, group homes, psychiatric centres and residential schools. After hearing that his good friend Rubin Hurricane Carter was diagnosed with prostate cancer, John took an early retirement, moved to Toronto and assisted his friend until Rubin’s death three years later.