Nelson Hopkins Sr. dreams of ex-cons living on the east side

Nelson Hopkins Sr. runs Pardon & Parole Negotiation Services, LLC, from a small storefront he rents from barbecue baron Ollie Gates at 2319 E. 12th St. The furnishings are modest but comfortable. There’s space for Hopkins’ desk, where his wife, Ella, sometimes works, and two other rooms with work stations for his small staff. Once a month,  Hopkins’ relatives— he’s got 12 brothers and sisters — gather in the office’s kitchen for a family meeting.

On a recent workday, Hopkins (the subject of this week’s Pitch feature story) fields calls from clients. One caller says he’s a relative of an inmate at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri. He wants to know whether Hopkins can help his relative prove his innocence. “A parole hearing really isn’t the place for that,” Hopkins replies, advising the caller to hire a licensed attorney. 

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