Episode 10 – Breaking Through the System: The Path to Healing




President, Jonathan Rapping and Executive Director, Ilham Askia sat down with Mr. Rapping’s former client, Octavius Clarke, to catch up to discuss the challenges and triumphs of overcoming our criminal legal system. During this episode Mr. Clarke spoke candidly about his incarceration, his motivations, and his determination to give his kids a brighter future. Tune into this heart wrenching episode, as you get to know Mr. Clarke and his story.




Octavius Clarke has spent his life using the lessons he learned as a child to guide his passions and dreams as an adult.  In 1998, Mr. Clarke was sentenced to 7 years to life due to a conviction of involuntary manslaughter. While Octavius owns his guilt and has tremendous regret, he was also 16 years old when the incident took place. This is typically, where the story could end, but there is nothing typical about Octavius Clarke. Over the duration of his incarceration, Octavius learned with great gravity how one bad decision has the potential to change and even end a life. Octavius also realized how the absence of his father led him to falling victim to insurmountable peer pressure. With this awareness, Octavius committed to becoming the father that he did not have, if he was to be given a second chance.  In 2008, Octavius earned that second chance.

After his release from prison in 2008, Octavius did not look back. Mr. Clarke is married and has three children. He is thrilled to be the father he never had. Octavius is a Plant Operator at DC Water, and works in partnership with his wife for her online food ordering and delivery business that she owns called “Ditch the Wait.” Octavius actively seeks opportunities to mentor young Black and brown men who are fatherless. Mr. Clarke is a lifelong learner who continuously seeks personal and professional growth opportunities to support him in teaching his children about entrepreneurship and generational wealth. Octavius lives in Washington DC with his wife Larelle, and his children Miriam, Noah and Peighton.




  • The importance of having zealous representation.
  • The positive effects of investing in your mental health.
  • What it’s like to break through the system and change your narrative.

Gideon’s Promise: The Podcast can be found on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud,  YouTube and on the Gideon’s Promise website.



Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice (2020) by Jonathan Rapping.