Jonestown Survivor Establishes Outreach Effort for Prisoners with Temple Connections

A sustained effort to establish and maintain relationships with former members of Peoples Temple and their relatives who are in prison was recently launched by Leslie Wagner-Wilson, a Jonestown survivor.

Leslie carried her two-year-old son Jakari out of Jonestown early on November 18, the day of the tragedy. Jakari has spent much of his life in jail, and was recently sentenced to a life term.

But Jakari is not the only one. Leslie’s research and conversations have led to the identification and location of a half dozen other sons of Temple members who are in prison on a variety of charges.

Leslie’s goal is to establish a network of people – whether they have personal connections to the Temple or not – who are willing to write letters, provide a sounding board and otherwise provide human contact on the outside for these prisoners. As differentiated from a letter-writing campaign with the specific and limited goal, this request anticipates a sustained relationship with men who often have little other interaction with the world outside prison.