Staff

Executive Leadership

Sam Lewis
Executive Director
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Executive Director
Sam Lewis

Sam Lewis is the Executive Director of the Anti Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Previously, Sam served as the Director of Inside Programs. A former life prisoner himself, Sam understands the various obstacles, challenges, and difficulties the prison and reentry populations face. In 2017, Sam created the Hope And Redemption Team (HART), a first-of-its kind initiative he built from scratch. The Hope & Redemption Team (HART) is a group of nine former California life prisoners who go back into California state prisons to provide hope, demonstrate that redemption is achievable, and to prepare participants for successful reentry into our communities. His work directing the Hope and Redemption Team exemplifies what’s best about ARC: our desire to reach and walk with those who have been most marginalized by society.

Bikila Ochoa
Deputy Director
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Deputy Director
Bikila Ochoa

Bikila Ochoa grew up in The Bronx in New York City.  He holds a Ph.D in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University.  With the support of fellowships from Harvard University, the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bikila’s research focused on the re-entry processes of formerly incarcerated juveniles housed in half-way houses in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He also served as a research associate at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. After completing his graduate studies, Bikila enrolled in and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  While in law school, Bikila served as a senior editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change, and interned at the ACLU of Southern California, a public interest law firm, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.  After law school, Bikila was a fellow at a labor-side law firm where he specialized in issues of workplace racial discrimination and sexual harassment and prior to joining ARC he was a researcher at two organizations. 

Aly Tamboura
Director of Strategic Partnerships
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Director of Strategic Partnerships
Aly Tamboura

Before joining ARC, Aly was previously a Criminal Justice Reform Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), where he partnered with organizations and leaders at the forefront of the criminal justice reform movement.

Having spent over a decade of his life incarcerated, Aly brings both firsthand experience with the criminal justice system and his strong technical skills to help advance critical reforms in the space. Much of Aly’s career has been dedicated to partnering with a rapidly growing national coalition of formerly incarcerated leaders that are expanding and accelerating the reform movement. Aly has also supported efforts to build national and state-based coalitions that are challenging the harsh laws that contribute to mass incarceration, working to pass critical legislation, and giving those who are closest to the problems associated with mass incarceration the agency to reimagine and fundamentally reshape our criminal legal system.

Tamboura has spoken extensively—including to leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—about the systemic barriers that keep the 70-100 million people with criminal records in the U.S. from achieving their full potential, including access to quality jobs and housing. Prior to his roles at The Just Trust and CZI, Aly spent twenty years working in the utility industry, including twelve years as the founder and CEO of a Bay Area geotechnical company, where he managed and completed large and complex utility analytics for government and private entities.

What Inspires You: “I am inspired by the people who have dedicated their lives to reform the criminal legal system”

Advocacy and Community Organizing

Michael Mendoza
Director of Advocacy
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Director of Advocacy
Michael Mendoza

A proud member of ARC since 2014 – the year he earned his release from prison after serving close to 18 years. He was incarcerated at the age of 15 and treated as an adult with a 15-to-life sentence. “Policy saved my life and allowed me to prove I wasn’t that kid anymore.” That is why he loves working in our policy department because through legislation we advocate for hope, human dignity, and public safety. His favorite part of ARC is the diverse community and reentry system we have built, and the opportunity to share that with others.

Celina Chapin
Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy
Kent Mendoza
Advocacy & Community Organizing Manager
Josh Pynoos
Policy and Communications Coordinator
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Policy and Communications Coordinator
Josh Pynoos

Josh Pynoos is the Public Policy Associate at ARC, focusing on state policy and advocacy campaigns. Additionally, Josh supports the Communication Department with storytelling and media projects. Previously, Josh worked on reentry and criminal justice policy in Los Angeles and edited a book on the civil rights movement. His favorite part about working at ARC is seeing people come home from incarceration and becoming valued members of our communities.

Ezekiel Nishiyama
Advocacy & Community Organizing Coordinator
Elijah Orr
Advocacy Fellow
Heile Gantan
Advocacy Fellow
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Advocacy Fellow
Heile Gantan

Heile Gantan is a Policy Advocacy Fellow with ARC. Her background in nutrition, policy, and her lived experience within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation motivates her work to improve the conditions of jails and prisons for those subjected to them. Her service as a rations clerk and wild land firefighter within the fire camp system motivated her to advocate for nutrition reform and nutrition assistance upon reentry. Heile has worked closely with civic organizations and state departments to assist returning citizens experiencing food insecurity and works to improve the current food environment within carceral spaces. Heile obtained her B.S. in nutrition with a double minor in business administration and marketing from California State University, Sacramento. She recently completed her Master of Public Policy program at the University of California, Irvine with a special focus on health equity and justice.

What inspires you?: I’m inspired by the many men, women, and nonconforming people who I’ve met that have been impacted by the justice system. It is their stories, along with my own experience within the system, that inspires me to help seek justice and equity for all people who are impacted by the system.

Sophia Cristo
Youth Advocate and Community Organizer
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Youth Advocate and Community Organizer
Sophia Cristo

Sophia Cristo is Youth advocate and Community Organizer. She began working with ARC upon her release from DJJ in August of 2020. Sophia was incarcerated for 8 years when Prop 57 passed, which is what allowed her to go home 2 years later. She uses her personal experience and voice to make changes that will impact others who are also affected by the justice system. 

Esteban Nuñez
Chief Strategy Consultant & Lobbyist

Clinical & Wellness

Brittani Gastinell
Sacramento
Professional Clinical Counselor Intern
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Professional Clinical Counselor Intern
Brittani Gastinell

Brittani holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources and Sociology. She is working towards obtaining her Master of Science in Career Counseling at California State University, Sacramento and plans to work towards her License in Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC). She worked for almost eight years in Human Resources and Workforce Development and has recent experience working with various non-profits supporting individuals processing through their trauma and life experiences. Additionally, she has continued her work in supporting youth and college students to navigate their college and career interests in STEM. She took interest in the Anti-Recidivism Coalition because of the continued efforts in advocacy and policy change. Brittani has a passion for supporting individuals in their mental health and personal development goals and hopes to incorporate expressive and art therapy techniques at ARC.

 

Joahanna Terrones
TAY Mental Health Therapist
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TAY Mental Health Therapist
Joahanna Terrones

Joahanna “Jo” is excited to be a part of the ARC family. She is a licensed clinical social worker and began her journey in November 2021, under the Clinical Wellness Team, as the full time TAY mental health therapist at the Magnolia House location. Jo has worked in the community mental health field for approximately 15 years providing case management and supportive services to individuals and families in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas. Jo decided to pursue a career in social work in 2015 and graduated with my master’s degree in Social Work from Cal State University, Los Angeles with a concentration in Forensic Social Work. She is familiar with the criminal justice system, laws and policies, and the work that ARC has done for many years now. Jo has loved ones and close friends that benefited from the policy changes, advocacy and support given by ARC to those who are returning back home and reuniting with their families and community. Jo previously worked at a nonprofit mental health organization providing individual therapy to children, teens and adults using trauma informed and cognitive behavioral treatment models to help guide individuals on their journey. Jo enjoys going to the beach, baking, party planning, spending time with her family and bunny, and loves all that is vintage! “Throughout my lifetime growing up in the Harbor area of Los Angeles, I have witnessed and experienced how the criminal justice system has impacted so many people I knew in my community and decided to go into social work to help uplift and support those around me in any way I could. What inspires me the most is being able to have the privilege of witnessing an individuals journey of transformation as they grow into the person they chose to become!”

Monique Bingham
Mental Health Therapist
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Mental Health Therapist
Monique Bingham

I am a Social Worker. I received my graduate degree from the University of Southern California in the department of Adult Mental Health and Wellness. I am empathic and passionate about helping others recover from past trauma and mental illness. In the future, I plan to pursue my social work license focusing on group therapy and communal healing practices. I am a firm believer in redemption through the power of human connection. In my free time, I enjoy listening to jazz, roller skating and watching old films.

Bahareh Lazemizadeh
Mental Health Therapist (Sacramento)
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Mental Health Therapist (Sacramento)
Bahareh Lazemizadeh

Bahareh has been with ARC as a volunteer since October of 2017; and joined full time in May of 2021. Bahareh has worked in the mental and behavioral health field for over 15 years, providing individual and group therapy in various settings including but not limited to schools, prisons (Folsom Women’s prison, and Folsom State Prison), community, and hospital. Bahareh has had long standing passion for working in re-entry support and her favorite part of ARC is the community and team-oriented approach that is displayed and received by all who are a part of it. Masters of Arts in counseling psychology; Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling, and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University Sacramento. Associate of Arts in Social Sciences from Sacramento City College.

Ellen Goldwasser, LCSW
Wellness & Creatives Consultant
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Wellness & Creatives Consultant
Ellen Goldwasser, LCSW

Ellen Goldwasser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and has worked in the area of Juvenile and Criminal Justice for 10 years. Ellen has been a part of ARC since 2019 and supports the life coaches, runs therapeutic support groups, supports graduate students and our therapy team, and oversees the administrative components of the Clinical and Wellness Department. By reducing barriers and stigma related to accessing mental health services, Ellen hopes to increase successful re-entry for people returning to their community from jail and prison. She believes that we all hold the power to re-write our narrative and become the person we want to be now. It is through storytelling that we reclaim our power and change the narrative that society holds of individuals and certain groups – and one we may have believed in the past. Ellen hopes to help create a world where justice is consistent and not based on where you are from, what you look like, and how much money you have, but rather a world where we are compassionate and empathic toward each other.

Steve Wolfe
MSW Intern
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MSW Intern
Steve Wolfe

Steve Wolfe is  an MSW intern from USC. He cares deeply about the work he does because of his passion for seeing people transform their lives. He was introduced to the helping field through his own journey of recovery that he began nine years ago. In addition to interning for ARC, he is a therapist for a nonprofit substance use disorder treatment center. Prior to working in addiction treatment, he was a personal trainer and martial arts instructor. He was born on the east coast, but was raised in Orange County, Ca. He completed his undergraduate degree in criminal justice at CSU Chico in 2007.

Veronica Varner
MSW Intern
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MSW Intern
Veronica Varner

Veronica is a Masters of Social Work (MSW) Intern attending California State University, Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and a Bachelor of Sciences in Psychological and Brain Sciences from University of California, Santa Barbara. She grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains where the redwoods meet the ocean. Reflected through her previous work with projects such as Prison Yoga Santa Barbara and Advancing New Standards of Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Veronica seeks to address the social and political determinants of mental health and wellbeing. Her favorite forms of self care are camping, time in nature, hiking with her dog, yoga, surfing, roller skating, and exercise.

What inspires you?: I am inspired by the memory of my late mother; her enormous heart, unending capacity for empathy, and contagious joy.

Communications

Nicholas Reiner
Director of Communications
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Director of Communications
Nicholas Reiner

Nicholas Reiner is Director of Communications at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), where he lifts up the voices of currently and formerly incarcerated people. He came to ARC as a visiting writing lecturer in 2016 and has been in his current role since 2018.

Nicholas is an American poet of Mexican heritage. His debut poetry chapbook Levitations is co-winner of the inaugural Alta California Chapbook Prize, available in a bilingual edition from Gunpowder Press. His poems appear in SpillwayAquifer: The Florida Review OnlineWestern Humanities ReviewZocalo Public Square, and elsewhere.

He holds degrees in English from Stanford University and University of California, Irvine, where he completed an M.F.A. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

What inspires you? : I’m inspired by the incredible human beings behind the walls and who are coming home to families that need them home.

Zeara Alvarez
Manager, Storytelling and Productions
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Manager, Storytelling and Productions
Zeara Alvarez

Los Angeles native Zeara Alvarez has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies. Zeara has been a staff at ARC for over seven years but has been involved for over nine (since the days of state capitol visits for SB 260/261 and other bills). Her passion for this work is born out of personal experience, although she herself is not formerly incarcerated. Zeara’s current focus is supporting the Member Services department with various projects, as well as ARC’s chapter expansion.

Sarah Florez
Communications Associate
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Communications Associate
Sarah Florez

Sarah is the Communications Associate at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), where she hopes to use art and design to amplify and share the experiences of currently and formerly incarcerated people. She began this role in September of 2022. Before this, she was the Social Media Lead for the International Student Environmental Coalition (ISEC) and an Intern for RACE Matters SLO. This was while she was enrolled in university at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated from in June 2022 with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Ethnic Studies, Psychology, and Dance. She loves dance, surfing, film photography, queer community, and all artistic and creative endeavors.

She feels energized by the resilience of humanity and the community created in advocating for radical change. Her friends, art, and nature keep her hopeful for our world’s capacity to transformation and grow.

De’Andra Kohl
Communications Intern
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Communications Intern
De’Andra Kohl

De’Andra Kohl is our communications intern who is currently a student at CSUN (California State University of Northridge). She is completing her education in Business Administration with an emphasis in System Operations & Management plus a minor in Information Systems.

What inspires you?: The people around me inspires me everyday such as my friends and family. They always thrive to do great things in the world which makes me want to better myself and others.

Varden Phan
Communications intern
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Communications intern
Varden Phan

Varden Phan is one of our Communications intern here at ARC is enrolled at Chapman University. He is pursuing a career in Photography/Videography.

To the best of his abilities he learns to place his self in a person’s life position to capture their beauty through the photographs and videos he he captures them in their emotional moments of pure joy, seriousness, and sorrow whether it comes naturally or staged. These photos and videos show how precious life can be when we forget our own beauty and importance which he always tells to the people he captures as it allows him to recollect his own beauty, purpose, and emotions that he has lost throughout the recent years.

John Dich
Designer, Inside Newsletter

Development

Rachel Chung
Director of Development
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Director of Development
Rachel Chung

Rachel serves as the director of development at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and has been with the organization since 2018. She has nearly a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising roles and specializes in impact strategy, social entrepreneurship, and storytelling at the intersection of philanthropy, business, and culture. Rachel is the co-founder of CAUSMOS, a Web 3.0 investing syndicate supporting women creators of color, has an M.S. in Social Entrepreneurship from the USC Marshall School of Business, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology from UCLA. She is a former environmental scientist and educator, an aspiring surfer and wellness guru, and is driven by a desire to address intersectional social justice issues.

I’m inspired by people who set audacious, ambitious goals and achieve them!

Celine Nehme
Major Gifts Officer
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Major Gifts Officer
Celine Nehme

Celine is a seasoned fundraiser, with over eight years of professional development experience, and has been working at ARC since December 2020. She previously worked in the Development department at the Vera Institute of Justice for three and a half years. Celine has played an active role in the strategy and launch process of two capital campaigns, and has currently helped raise more than $3M for clients. She has exclusively worked for social justice organizations and businesses, has been involved with efforts to reform our justice system for close to a decade, and has a demonstrated commitment towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of her life, both professional and personal. She received both her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s in Public Administration from Binghamton University. She is very proudly from Brooklyn, fluent in French, and is currently living in Los Angeles.

Clara Keane
Institutional Giving Manager
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Institutional Giving Manager
Clara Keane

Clara Keane joined ARC in 2021, first volunteering with the local policy team taking notes and giving public comment and now working full time in ARC’s Development Department. Dedicated to supporting people who are system-impacted, she has worked for AmeriCorps serving at-promise youth and as a training assistant inside CDCR’s CRC prison for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, through which she is also a certified instructor. As ARC’s first “Institutional “Giving Manager” she enjoys finding exciting funding opportunities to support the mission and work of the organization. Her favorite part of her job is getting to see ARC members benefit from funding she’s helped secure.

What inspires you?: I’m inspired by peoples’ ability to heal.

 

Jose Norrington
Development Coordinator
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Development Coordinator
Jose Norrington

Jose Norrington is a Development Coordinator at ARC.  Having been system impacted for over 15 years, Jose brings his ambition towards seeking to end mass incarceration, unfair sentencing, and injustice through his position within ARC. As Development Coordinator he oversees, organizes, and executes fundraising activities so that ARC may continue to acquire grants and funding towards making a solid impact, and influencing the criminal justice system narrative. He hopes that men and women who are in the position he was once will one day no longer need to experience injustice and unfair sentencing.

Finance and Operations

Laura Minzenberg
Director of Finance
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Director of Finance
Laura Minzenberg

Laura Minzenberg is the Director of Finance for The Anti-Recidivism Coalition. She joined ARC in 2018, having spent ten years in non-profit management in Los Angeles. She is originally from Florida but now considers herself a naturalized Angeleno. She believes that the work ARC does is critical for creating a more just society. Her favorite part of working at ARC has been seeing ARC influence governmental policies in a way that helps large numbers of Californians. “I look forward to seeing more of this in California and nationwide.”

Gladis Pantoja
Associate Director of Operations
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Associate Director of Operations
Gladis Pantoja

Gladis joined the ARC team in 2017. She has a background in administration, finance & accounting, and human resources. She previously worked in the non-profit sector supporting affordable housing in South Los Angeles, social enterprises in San Francisco, and supporting refugees from Central America & Haiti. Gladis has a BA from UC Berkeley in Integrative Biology. As a Compton native, she has a strong interest in supporting issues that affected her community growing up. Her favorite part of working at ARC is being part of the beautiful, supportive community.

Rose Brown
Executive Assistant
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Executive Assistant
Rose Brown

Rose is a former juvenile lifer, connected with ARC since its infancy. She has been part of the ARC family since her parole in October 2020. Rose grew up in California and now lives in Phoenix Arizona. She is passionate about giving back to her community, especially those still inside. Working for ARC has allowed her to help those who are still behind the walls and those transitioning back into the free world.

Deborah Koosed
Office Coordinator
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Office Coordinator
Deborah Koosed

After serving 23 years and going to three board hearings, Deborah was released from prison. ARC has been with her on this journey from the beginning. The Ride Home program picked her up from the gate and she quickly immersed herself in the community of “ex-cons”. It felt like she was finally home. Deborah’s strong belief system in her higher power, her family, and passion about the work she does for those coming home, gives her energy and fervor to get through each day.

I am inspired by those willing to stand naked in their truth without fear of judgement.

Charlie Cho
Finance Associate
Melissa Mercado
LA Office Assistant Intern
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LA Office Assistant Intern
Melissa Mercado

Melissa Mercado is 34 years old and a mother of two sons. She served 13 years in prison after coming into conflict with the law at the age of 16. While incarcerated she involved herself in as many self-help groups she could. As a result, she became a facilitator for some of those self-help groups and went on creating her own self-help group and a curriculum as well. She is resilient and has overcome many trials and childhood trauma.

Melissa was paroled 4 years early due to her progress in her rehabilitation and has been an office assistant and member at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition for the past 6 months. She is a college graduate with two Associates degrees, one in Behavioral and Social Sciences and the other in Communication Studies. Currently, she is enrolled in Cal State Fullerton as a Junior for her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and is scheduled to graduate spring of 2024.

Jeremy Bocel
LA Office Assistant Intern

Housing

John McClelland
Housing Director
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Housing Director
John McClelland

John has over 20 years of coordinating, supervising, and overseeing reentry services for men and women returning to Los Angeles. He came to reentry via coordinating substance abuse services after going through a treatment program himself in 1996. “Having gone through a program, I understand how utterly critical safe, supportive housing is during the reentry process.” ARC’s goal of providing individualized, supportive reentry housing is what brought him here. Growing that concept and refining those services is the sense of reward that drives his continuing path at ARC. He spent over 13 years with Healthright 360 and joined ARC in July of 2016. “I love the dignity and compassion ARC brings to re-entry services.”

Christopher Espinoza
Associate Director of Housing
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Associate Director of Housing
Christopher Espinoza

Christopher joined ARC in March of 2021. Prior to coming to ARC he worked with individuals on parole within CDCR contracted community-based treatment providers, as a Clinical Supervisor for over ten years. He loves working with ARC and being part of second chances. His favorite part of ARC is the sense of community it provides and helping all members feel like they are a part of the family.

Ventura Training Center

Elizabeth Bay
VTC Program Coordinator
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VTC Program Coordinator
Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth is the Program Coordinator at the Ventura Training Center (VTC).  She has lived most of her life in the Conejo Valley. Prior to joining ARC, she worked in the medical field for most of her adult life.  She enjoys working with the participants at VTC that are pursing their careers in the fire service. Watching their transformations is what makes it all worthwhile for her. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family doing anything outdoors.  She loves the beach, hiking, bike riding and playing tennis.

Jon Cesario
VTC Life Coach
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VTC Life Coach
Jon Cesario

Jon is a Life Coach at the Ventura Training Center Fire Academy. He started at VTC in 2018. He is formerly incarcerated and spent 16 years in prison. He is married with four beautiful children. Prior to ARC, he graduated from the Alcohol and Drug Program at Oxnard Community College. While pursuing college he worked as a Program Manager at a Residential Drug and Alcohol men’s home in Oxnard, CA.

His favorite part of ARC is that as a community he has the privilege and opportunity to be a part of changing the narrative pertaining to those who are currently and formerly incarcerated.  He is a result of what could happen if given the right support, accountability and freedom. His passion is to reflect the same help that was provided to him and now project it in his community.

Jose Olmedo
VTC Life Coach
Tiffany Eyestone
VTC Program Monitor
George Lopez
VTC Program Monitor
Secel Montgomery
VTC Program Monitor
Javier Vazquez
VTC Program Monitor
Jimmy Vigil
VTC Program Monitor
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VTC Program Monitor
Jimmy Vigil

Jimmy Vigil is working at the Ventura Training Center in Camarillo. He was incarcerated for over 2 decades do to hard work and dedication he made it home. He also earned 3 degrees while incarcerated (Social and Behavioral Sciences, Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities, and Human Development/ Human Services) and also a Counseling Certification (Addiction Studies). He truly decided to turn his life around when he found out that his son, Xavier Richard Vigil, was gang banging. He has now been incarcerated for 6 years (since he was 17) and doesn’t parole until 2033. Therefore, he truly devoted to setting the best example he possibly can but not only for his son but also for our youth who are undergoing the same cycle. Peace and Blessings y’all!

What inspires you?: What truly inspires me the most is the proud feeling I experience when those I help come back to me (even years later) and thank me for helping them and letting me know that i helped them to change their life. .

Lorena

Michael Hawk
Lorena Program Coordinator
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Lorena Program Coordinator
Michael Hawk

Michael served 26 years in prison, on a 25 to life term. He joined ARC in the summer of 2016 and moved into ARC housing in 2017 as a mentor. He found that helping others with their reentry seemed more important than anything else at the time. He began working for ARC in 2017 where he lived and worked at Magnolia Housing. He then became a Life Coach for Bromont Housing in 2018 and is currently Program Coordinator for Lorena Housing. His favorite part of ARC is the way ARC supports and guides all their members in becoming productive members of society.

 

Francisco Hernandez
Lorena Life Coach
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Lorena Life Coach
Francisco Hernandez

As a formerly incarcerated citizen, having served 15 years in the California Department of Corrections, Francisco is excited to be part of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. His career path in re-entry services began at Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish rehabilitation facility, where he was a driver and program facilitator. In 2018 he moved on to the Beacon Transitional Housing Program for Amity Foundation where he began as a Demonstrator, was promoted to Administrative Assistant, and shortly thereafter moved up to the role of Advocate. As an Advocate, he worked with long-term offenders assisting in their reentry transition. He earned an AA from West Los Angeles College and completed the Addiction Studies program. He is continuing his coursework in preparation for transferring to a 4-year college. He is excited about the opportunity to give back to those who are in the same position he was in years ago.

Taylor Quinn
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Taylor Quinn

Taylor Quinn is a life coach at The Lorena THP in Boyle Heights. She was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley.  She was formerly incarcerated, is a recovering addict, and a former gang member. She came to ARC in February of 2020 after working for a treatment center in the West LA area, working with the reentry population as well as people with addiction. ARC has given her the ability to help others that were like herself to find a successful journey for themselves and has also given her the ability to succeed in her own life.

Michael Caputo
Lorena Resident Advisor
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Lorena Resident Advisor
Michael Caputo

Michael Caputo is originally from Pittsburgh PA. He came out to California when he was 21 years old and by the time he was 25, he was incarcerated and eventually sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. After more than 35 years he was commuted and paroled. Through luck or divine intervention he made his way to ARC, first as an intern now working for our housing program. He is now off of parole with a job he loves, helping our people returning to life be successful in the free world.

What inspires you?: Everyone who got out before me and have helped me along the way. My family.

Steve Estrada
Lorena Resident Advisor

Magnolia

Lili Herrera
Magnolia Program Coordinator
William Lopez
Magnolia Life Coach
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Magnolia Life Coach
William Lopez

Will was incarcerated for 15 years, from the age of 18 to 33 years old. He was released on July 4th, 2013 and has been home for eight years now. He joined ARC during its inception as an organization in 2013. He began working for ARC as an intern, then part time Resident Advisor at Bromont Housing and eventually was hired at Magnolia Housing as a Life Coach in 2017. Previously, Will worked as a youth counselor for Camp Ubuntu where he still works part time as support staff. While incarcerated, Will received three Associate Degrees. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Cal State San Bernardino. He enjoys working with the youth and enjoys the growth opportunities it brings.

What inspires you?

“The best part of my job is the relationships I foster with these young men and witnessing their success. Through my struggles, there have been people in my life that have believed in me and never gave up on me. Now, I get to do the same at ARC.”

Kenzo Sohoue
Magnolia Resident Advisor
Charles Jackson
Magnolia Resident Advisor

Inside Programs

Jacob Brevard
Director of Inside Programs
David Amaya
Southern Regional Manager, Hope and Redemption Team (HART)
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Southern Regional Manager, Hope and Redemption Team (HART)
David Amaya

David Amaya is a former lifer whose life has become an example of positive change.  For the past six years he has volunteered with preventative and restorative community programs for youth at risk, formerly incarcerated and justice impacted people.  He began his career with ARC in 2017 as a life coach on the Hope and Redemption Team, and is proud of the work the team does in helping people inside transform their lives and prepare for reentry into their communities as healthy and responsible people.  David is grateful for his second chance in life and the opportunity ARC has provided him to pursue his passion and commitment to help others heal and succeed in their lives.

Joseph Osorio
Northern Regional Manager, Hope and Redemption Team (HART)
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Northern Regional Manager, Hope and Redemption Team (HART)
Joseph Osorio

Joseph Osorio is a Life Coach with the Hope and Redemption Team. Joseph was sentenced to 28 years at the age of 17 and subsequently spent over 18 years incarcerated. Because of SB260, Joseph was afforded an opportunity to earn his freedom. He was found suitable October of 2018 and released January of 2019. He joined the Anti-Recidivism Coalition as a member and graduate of the HART program while inside. He is now a part of that same program he graduated from. He gives back to his incarcerated community and currently provides inside programs to the men housed at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Carlos Aceves
HART Life Coach
Christopher Acosta
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Christopher Acosta

Christopher Acosta is a strong, resilient, trustworthy self-made man. He cares about his family and community. Christopher is a son, father, spouse, a friend to many and a US Army veteran. Christopher has overcome adversity in his life and learned to continually succeed and thrive regardless of his circumstances. He is the son of Raul Hernandez, one of the original members of Grammy award winning artists Los Tigres Del Norte. Christopher grew up without relying on their celebrity and has achieved all he has on his own. He is grateful to be a part of ARC’s Hope and Redemption Team (HART) and to be a part of positive change.

Lynne Acosta
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Lynne Acosta

Lynne a Life Coach on the Hope and redemption team. She is very resilient, humble, compassionate and empathetic. Lynne loves to laugh, dance, and genuinely cares for others. Lynne is both a leader and team player. She is a mother, wife, grandmother, and veteran. Lynne is also a domestic violence and grief counselor. She likes to workout and enjoys the interconnectedness the ARC family brings to her life. She feels she is walking in her purpose.

Heriberto Arredondo
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Heriberto Arredondo

Heriberto was arrested at 16 and was sentenced to life in prison. While incarcerated he lost all hope and spiraled into alcohol and drug addiction. He accepted that he would die in prison. However, after sitting in on a workshop about Senate Bill 260, he began to have a glimmer of hope. Gradually, over several years, he began to apply everything he learned in self-help groups and began his recovery from drugs and criminality. He got involved in anything positive he could find in prison: church, college, groups and giving back to others by sharing everything he was learning. Heriberto paroled from prison on August 17, 2021. He is applying all the things he learned in prison, to his free life: hard work, humility, kindness and altruism. He always promised that he would go back to prison. As a life coach on the Hope and Redemption Team (HART), he is now able to keep that promise.

Steven Batres
HART Life Coach
Gary Burt
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Gary Burt

Gary Burt came to ARC as a Social Work intern in 2019 from Sacramento State University to earn his graduate degree, which he accomplished in May of 2021. Durning his time as a intern he worked with members of the Hope & Redemption Team and was inspired by the work they did. Having been a long-term offender himself he was well aware of the unjust sentences and the untapped potential that was behind those walls. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to empower those who were incarcerated to continue to develop tools that would assist them in their transformative he was excited about opportunity. He is now a Life Coach with the Hope & Redemption Team (HART) providing services for the men inside Folsom State Prison.

I am inspired by being in tune with nature and an avid hiker and love our National Parks.

Yesica Cambero
HART Life Coach
J’Mel Carter
HART Life Coach
Clinton Drummer
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Clinton Drummer

Clinton Drummer is a Hope and Redemption team Life Coach that is assigned to facilitate three classes within the Pleasant Valley State Prison. Clinton was born and raised in Inglewood, CA. He fell in love with this work while serving 16 years in prison. Upon sitting in a self-help class, he met a man who was formally incarcerated and had come back to inspire others to change their mindset. This completely changed Clinton’s perspective by seeing an example of change and dedicated his life to doing the same line of work. “That day I found out my life was not just about me. Its more about the impact my life make on others around me. That day I found my purpose.” This passion pushed him to create a nonprofit while still in prison, which is how he first learned about ARC. Since then, his dreams have come true by inspiring others behind the wall to continue to grow in every way. He is now the example he dreamed of being.

This line of work inspires Clinton in the greatest way, “Upon my release, I had zero insight into what the new world had in store for me. It created fear. The greatest reward for me is being able to help someone not only transition into the new world and identify new opportunities, but also be ready for them as they come.”

Sean Gage
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Sean Gage

Sean De’Marlo Gage is a Life Coach on the Hope & Redemption Team (HART). He is passionate about being a vessel for healing and transformation in others’ lives.  He is passionate about poetry, music, learning and building strong ties. Sean chose ARC because he believes those who work here “believe in the mission and understand the assignment.” Sean wants to give back what he has received and pay it forward. “The opportunity to learn and practice what I preach is priceless. What I like most about ARC is being embraced by a family with entwined hearts and goals.”

Alfonso ‘Al’ Garcia
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Alfonso ‘Al’ Garcia

Al Garcia is a Hope and Redemption Team Life Coach for ARC. His goal is to change hearts and minds inside prison and in the community. He is a pastor at Redeemed 2020 Ministries which is growing and is his greatest accomplishment. He is married, living and enjoying life, such as riding his Harley Davidson and surfing. His expertise is facilitating Criminals and Gang Members Anonymous (CGA) and self-help classes. He loves to help others by reaching those who have gone down the same path he has, the path that he was redeemed from.  

David Garnica
HART Life Coach
John Jarvie
HART Life Coach
Andre Johnson
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson served 17 years of a 31-year sentence and was released in 2021 under Senate Bill 261. He began his career with ARC in May of 2022 as a Life Coach on the Hope and Redemption Team (HART). “I am excited to give back, help transform lives and prepare people for successful re-entry.” Andre is grateful for his second chance in life and the opportunity ARC has provided him to help others heal, re-enter society thriving, and build better communities.

Kenny Johnson
HART Life Coach
John Jones
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
John Jones

In 1995 at the age of 17 John Jones was sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole for gang related murder and attempted murder. He continued a life of crime while incarcerated until the day he received a letter from his mom saying that she had a stroke. And when she came to visit him a couple of months after I he had received her letter, he was almost in tears from seeing how fragile she looked. It was then that John realized that he needed and wanted to be a better human being for his mom, which was catalyst for his change. John spent the last five years of his incarceration committed to self-improvement. He ceased criminal behavior and applied himself to numerous self-help programs CDCR offered, including Live, Learn, and Prosper, Lifer’s Group, AVP, GOGI, Victims Impact Awareness, Ripple Effect, Friends Outside, Anger Management, Co-Parenting, ISUDT, Actor’s Gang, VOEG, OMCP, Effective Communication and Listening, as well as wrote book reports on CGA, AA/NA, Battlefield of the Mind, and Houses of Healing. On December 16th of 2021, at the age of 43, John was paroled from Valley State Prison as a level 2 JLWOP, serving over 26 years.

As a HART team Life Coach for ARC retuning back to VSP–The prison John paroled from, he plans on brining all his skills, knowledge and experience to help the population grow and transform. It is John’s goal to reduce the risk to Public Safety and allow the participants to develop into law abiding, prosperous citizens with better insight into themselves.

What inspires you?

John is inspired by his late mother’s death. Cynthia had a heart of gold and was very giving, and John inspires to have a heart like his mother.

Serafin Leon
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Serafin Leon

Serafin Leon is a life coach with ARC’s Hope and Redemption Team (HART). Although originally from Mexico, he was raised in South Central Los Angeles. At 17 years old, Serafin entered the penal system. He served 32 years in prison; 20 of those confined in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU). By his mid 20’s, Serafin began the process of transformation. One of the principal catalysts for his change was education. Serafin is self-taught; education provided a virtual window into, and a different perspective of the world, while confined to his windowless cell. He graduated with honors from community college, earning four associate degrees. As a result of his education, Serafin’s belief and value system would begin to take on a positive form. Serafin also read a lot of literature on Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism. He adopted the practice of mindfulness meditation. Serafin’s transformation did not occur over night; it was a process that took over a decade. He likes to say that he is still a work in progress. As a life coach, he mentors youth offenders at the Division of Juvenile Justice in Ventura, and he is set to facilitate self-help groups at KVSP and CSP Corcoran. He wishes to be a beacon of hope and a model of change to the incarcerated community as some senior HART life coaches were to him.

Candice Lewis
HART Life Coach
Tommy Lewis
DJJ Life Coach
Wajuba McDuffy
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Wajuba McDuffy

Wajuba Mcduffy is so honored and excited to be apart of the H.A.R.T team. He is a survivor of the worst sentence (in his opinion) that could be given to a 17yr old. (LWOP) he served over 22 years with the help of SB9, SB260 and especially SB394, he was able to get resentenced and was found suitable on his first and only parole board hearing in 2018. He was very passionate about the work that’s being done here. He was looking for hope in a hopeless situation. ARC along with some other organizations gave him exactly that, HOPE. His mission is to continue giving our brothers and sisters that’s still behind these walls the same thing. He brings with him accountability, compassion, integrity, empathy and laughter. He wants to continue to make this world a better and safer place by the work that we do. God Bless

What inspires you?: That look I see in the eyes of the Men and Women that I encounter inside. The new found Hope. I can remember that exact feeling of believing that I would die in prison even with my Transformation to believing that there is a chance that I can be free one day.

Derrick Miles
Inside Coordinator
Thomas Mittwer
HART Life Coach
David Morales
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
David Morales

David Morales came to ARC after being a HART class participant in prison, and paroling after twenty-six years. He cares about facilitating self-help recovery classes because he desires to be an agent of positive change both within the free and incarcerated communities. What drives David and fills him with energy is helping people most in need. Letting them know they have a voice which matters and is valuable. Before coming to ARC David worked as a Production Assistant, and Lead Covid-19 Compliance officer on film industry sets. David’s education is within the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Drug & Alcohol Studies and Business & American Studies. “What inspires me are so many things, but what enhances all the things which inspire me is my physical freedom, and the gratitude I feel when I am living in those moments of life I once only dreamed of, such as traveling, riding my motorcycle, feeling the wind on my face, an being a contributing member of my family and my community.”

Marcus Quinones
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Marcus Quinones

Marcus Quinones, is out of the Los Angeles office and was given a second chance after serving 27 ½ years incarcerated. Marcus came to The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) in 2016 as a member and in that time ARC has been supportive by providing him direction through leadership and peer-support. Currently Marcus is part of the Hope and Redemption Team (HART) as a Life Coach. Marcus assists men and women incarcerated transform their lives. Marcus’s work gives him a constant drive and energy that is impactful but more importantly it allows him to participate in building healthy communities and changing the narrative of those that were once formerly incarcerated.

Marcus is inspired by the will of those who have changed their lives and want to change their lives.

Kevin Roberts
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Kevin Roberts

Kevin is a high school graduate and grew up in El Cajon, California, where he worked as an Aerospace Machinist. He is formerly incarcerated and spent 26 years in prison. During his stay, Kevin identified his character defects and learned how to navigate his negative emotions. With this newfound knowledge, he transformed himself into the man he is today. The Parole Board granted him parole in June of 2017. Today, Kevin is the Life Coach at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California, where he is helping change the hearts and minds of the population at the prison. Kevin joined the Heart and Redemption Team of ARC in March of 2022. Prior to joining ARC, Kevin worked as a CNC Machinist, and a Heavy Equipment Mechanic. Kevin and his lovely wife Janine own a house and live in Smith River, California. “I’m inspired by the prison population wanting to better themselves and live a life in a free society.”

Anthony Robinson
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson Jr is an insatiable Revolutionary for Humanity. Awoken to purpose through a 23 years and 4 month prison sentence at the age of 18, Anthony raised his work out of the darkest corridors of high security institutions to afford himself the opportunity to serve his community. He was released from prison August 27th 2018 after serving 20 years, having obtained an Associates in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a Certificate in Business Management, winning 1st place for a documentary at Austin City Black Film Festival; a film sparked from a series of articles Mr. Robinson published in the San Francisco Bay View. In his two years out on parole Mr. Robinson was nominated for the Grand Jury by the Mayor of Stockton, has advocated for social change and criminal reform and has been a champion in building capacity amongst marginalized populations. Today, in addition to his role as Life Coach for the Hope and Redemption Team (HART), Anthony is the host and Executive Director of The Echo Chamber (theechochamber.org) a non-profit and podcast.

Anthony Romero
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Anthony Romero

Anthony is a former lifer that served 28 years for a senseless crime which he takes full responsibility for. At the age of 18, being sentenced to multiple life sentences he lost all hope. Anthony never fathomed freedom ever being possible. When he finally became tired of his negative lifestyle, he decided to better himself through seeking education and attending groups; he started putting the broken pieces of himself back together. This allowed him to grow and facilitate while incarcerated, finding comfort in being able to assist others. When the opportunity to obtain freedom became reality, he chased it with determination and earned it. Anthony currently attends CSU-Fullerton, working on his B.S. in Human Services. During the pandemic he was employed as a case manager for The Salvation Army assisting homeless individuals for Project Homekey. Being able to give back to society has been a fulfilling experience and is fulfilling his purpose. When the opportunity arose to join ARC, Hope and Redemption Team (HART), he was more than thrilled at the chance to be able to guide others who are currently incarcerated. “I am inspired by the many formerly incarcerated individuals I associate with who I consider family.”

Dominique Tanks
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Dominique Tanks

At the age of 16 Dominique was arrested, which led to his conviction and sentenced to 50-years-to-life. During his time of incarceration hope is the only thing that he could hold on to. As the years ended and new ones began his hope started to deplete, but he continued to hold on to it despite the evidence or indication that his dream of being free will never manifest. He would daydream about walking through the doors of ARC. To him ARC represented bright hope, which gave him the strength and desire to transform his life and be able to walk through the office space that has contributed to him feeling hopeful despite being sentenced to 50-years-to-life. While Dominique was incarcerated he led and developed many self-help groups. In 2018, he was given a commutation by Governor Brown. His sentence was commuted from 50-to-life down to 15-to-life which immediately made him eligible for a Parole Board Hearing which led to his release on March 3, 2021.

What inspires you?: I absolutely enjoy working as a part of a team, I enjoy discussing ways to progress with teammates. In addition to that, I take pride in the work that I do, and it is humbling whenever I see the service I provide being used and having a measurable impact on the incarcerated population that I once was a part of.

Carlos Tolentino
HART Life Coach

Member Services

Harvey Knight
Associate Director of Member Services
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Associate Director of Member Services
Harvey Knight

Harvey grew up in the city of Compton, went to Whaley Jr. High, and Dominquez, Compton, and Centennial high schools. Growing up he loved sports, playing tiny, and peewee tackle football for Greater Compton and South Gate, basketball at Lueders Park. His favorite sports teams are the Pittsburg Steelers, Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. He is formerly incarcerated and served 29 years in prison. He was released February, 2013 to a Transitional housing Program. Just weeks out he had no idea what he was going to do, what resources were available, which way to go, but his counselor helped walk him through his re-entry process. During this time he had a “wow” moment and decided this work is what he wanted to do. He became a certified Drug and Alcohol counselor and started working for Volunteers of America (VOA) as a Monitor. He worked his way up to Lead Case Manager. Then moved on to start his career with ARC in August of 2017. “Since then it has been a beautiful thing, working with this population of reentry folk; I feel so honored that people are trusting in what we do and allow us to be part of their re-entry journey.”

Norma Cumpian
Associate Director, Women's Department
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Associate Director, Women's Department
Norma Cumpian

Norma Cumpian, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s (ARC) Women’s Department Associate Director, joined ARC in March 2016 as a Life Coach after nearly five years working in the criminal justice reform and nonprofit sector. As a formerly incarcerated woman, Norma has firsthand experience in the many challenges of reentry, making her a compassionate and effective guide for people learning to navigate society after returning home from prison. Norma was appointed by Governor Newsom, and confirmed by the Senate Rules Committee, to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), in February 2020. The BSCC provides leadership to adult and juvenile systems, expertise on re alignment, conducts inspections and administers public safety related grants throughout the state of California. Norma is the first formerly incarcerated person appointed to the BSCC board.

Carlos Cervantes
Ride Home Program Manager
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Ride Home Program Manager
Carlos Cervantes

Carlos has been an integral member of the ARC, joining after being released from prison in 2011. The retreat at Hummingbird Nest Ranch inspired him to find a meaningful purpose in his life.  Carlos strongly believes in being present with those being released from prison. In 2012, along with Michael Romano, Director of Stanford School of Law Three Strikes Project, Carlos co-founded the ARC Ride Home Program, which was nationally recognized by the administration of President Barack Obama and was awarded the Champions of Change Award.

The New York Times Magazine has profiled Carlos for the Ride Home Program. Carlos was also awarded the Empowerment Congress 2019 Emerging Civic Leaders 40 Under Forty Award in recognition of dedicated service to the affairs of the community. Carlos is an alumnus of the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellowship. He was recognized by Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti for his commitment, mentorship, and service to our community. Carlos is a member of the Clothes The Deal Board of Directors Last but not least, he is a husband, father and chef!

David Barclay
Life Coach
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Life Coach
David Barclay

David  was first introduced to ARC in 2017 when Scott Budnick visited California Correctional Institution along with several former lifers. He care about the work as a Life Coach because it is my passion to give back and help others just as he have received assistance in rebuilding his life. The energy that drives him is based on the belief that individuals coming home need to know that they are cared for.

He grew up in South Los Angeles. He was raised by my great grandmother and grandmother primarily. His mother was not in the picture as she chose the street life. Due to childhood trauma that caused him to develop resentments which led to anger, he ultimately joined a gang. Several poor decisions led to him being sentenced to a 31 year prison sentence. While inside after reviewing my life and the evidence proving that my life was out of control, he made a conscious decision to turn his life around. He obtained a GED and Associates Degree in Business. Thanks to ARC and the passing of SB261, he was granted early parole upon going to my first parole board hearing on September 3, 2020. Prior to his release, ARC connected him with CEO and upon reentering society he immediately began working. Within a couple of months he obtained permanent employment through Christ Centered Ministries as a Client Aide in full service to my community and still work part time in that position in addition to being a Life Coach with ARC. He have only been working at ARC for one week but he is excited to perform and fulfill his duties as a Life Coach by first continuing to be an example of true and lasting change and sticking to the 5 Pillars, Crime free, Drug free, Gang free, Of service to my community, and working as well as attending school in pursuit of my bachelors degree in Social Work.

He is inspired by the love that his great grandmother and grandmother so freely bestowed upon him. He wouldn’t be the man he is today without their guidance and never giving up on him!

Christopher Bingley
TAY Life Coach
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TAY Life Coach
Christopher Bingley

Christopher Bingley is a Transitional Age Youth Life Coach at Magnolia Housing.   He was born and raised in LA where he currently resides.  He experienced challenges in his teenage years which landed him in the criminal justice system. Today he wants to help people avert the justice system and reach their highest potential. He brings experience in recruiting system impacted individuals for employment for a beverage company. Chris came onboard to do what he loves at ARC, and he is also currently enrolled in Los Angeles Trade Tech.

 

Oscar Bonilla
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Oscar Bonilla

Oscar Bonilla was born and raised in Southern, California to a single mother. He is an ARC Life Coach in the Downtown LA office. He is committed to serving the community with empathy, compassion, determination, and accountability. He continues to strive for the best in a fast paced environment. In his free time, Oscar enjoys fishing, hiking, visiting the beach and anything nature. At heart Oscar describes himself as a humble person with a big heart and positive energy. “I am inspired by people who do not let their past determine their future and people who stay positive even when they are not having a great day.”

Robert Chavez
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Robert Chavez

Robert is a Los Angeles Native. At the age of 19 he began his journey of incarceration on a life sentence. During this period, he became a mentor and facilitator within his community inside. Robert is also a Teaching Artist with the Actors’ Gang Prison Project, a theatrical arts program that uses highly physical and emotional style of theater. Today through lived experience Robert is now a life coach with the membership department. With a deep sense of responsibility, he assists ARC members achieve a higher quality of life through guidance and compassion.

 

Anthony Logan
Membership Events Coordinator
Chloe Thomas
Applied Researcher
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Applied Researcher
Chloe Thomas

Chloe Thomas is a Los Angeles native with several years of research and evaluation experience. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Northeastern University with a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She has a strong passion for transforming the criminal justice system and ensuring that those who have been incarcerated are given the support they need to successfully reintegrate back into society. She uses her research and analytical skills to aid advocacy efforts for criminal justice reform and has been working at ARC since November 2020.

Pamela Thompson
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Pamela Thompson

Pamela Thompson was born in Houston Texas. She served a 24 year prison sentence and was released October 15, 2018 and she joined ARC the following month. She has worked several jobs within reentry, but is very proud to now be employed with ARC as a Life Coach. Pamela is pursuing her certification in addiction studies to become a drug and alcohol counselor. “I love being of service; it gives me great pleasure to be able to assist those coming home with acclimating back into society, someone once assisted me.” Some of her favorite things about ARC are the Ride Home Program. She enjoys the whole process of picking up men and women straight from the prison gates and taking them to have their first “free world” meal of their choice, then taking them shopping. “The gratitude is unexplainable.” She also enjoys ARC retreats, member support meetings, support groups where everyone can fellowship and stay connected.

Moses Gallegos
Reentry Coach
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Reentry Coach
Moses Gallegos

Moses Gallegos has been a member of ARC for the last 9 Years. He was incarcerated at the age of 16 and sent to Prison for 16 years. Well in prison he was able to work on himself and find the inspiration to come home and never return to those cages. He was able to find true freedom within himself. He now has the pleasure of serving our returning citizens as an ARC Re-Entry Coach.

What inspires you?: Familia and service to our community.

Nicole Jeong
Root & Rebound Southern California Regional Director of Advocacy
Misty Oka
Root & Rebound Equal Justice Works Fellow

Sacramento

Josef Gray
Sacramento Director
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Sacramento Director
Josef Gray

My name is Josef Gray, and I am the Sacramento Director for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC.). I am a Sacramento native who was born, raised, and has lived in South Sacramento for my entire life. I became involved with the juvenile justice system as a teenager, and it was from those experiences navigating the system that stemmed my dedication to helping others coming from similar backgrounds and circumstances. I have been with ARC for about 3 years now and have loved every minute of it! I have never met a more fun, passionate, creative, and caring community. I am blessed to work for an organization that fights every day for justice and system change at every level.

Rodney Bryant
DJJ Life Coach
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DJJ Life Coach
Rodney Bryant

Rodney A. Bryant is originally from the east coast, was born in Chesapeake, Virginia, and was raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his GED at 18 years old after which his family moved to Sacramento, California for a fresh start at life. That year, I was sentenced to serve an indeterminate term of 15 years-to-Life. I spent more than 28 years of my life in correctional facilities; however, with hard work, persistence, and divine intervention my life was transformed. I spent a considerable amount of time on self-improvement. Wanting to help make a difference, I became a Peer Literacy Tutor, Recreational Coach, and Youth Mentor, as I continued to seek self-help through self-improvement. Today I am a Division of Juvenile Justice Life Coach for the Anti Recidivism Coalition, I continue to strive to make a difference, even if it’s just in ONE life, passing on those life lessons and skills I gained along my road to improvement.

 

 

Tommy DeLuna
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Tommy DeLuna

I am formerly incarcerated and heard about ARC while serving time in Kern Valley State Prison. Meeting Scott Budnick brought so many hope there that day, and now working for the organization that he and James Anderson founded has been an awesome experience. Giving that same hope to others is why I do what I do with a heart full of joy.

Raeshone Holmes
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Raeshone Holmes

Shone Holmes is a Life Coach at ARC in Sacramento. Originally from Los Angeles CA, she was sentenced to 16 to life and served 22 years of her life sentence. She was released through the parole board under SB 261, which deals with the development of the brain and how it doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25. She has accomplished quite a bit since her exit from prison. She has been an advocate for fair chance policy in which she has had the honor of working alongside Elizabeth Calvin, the author of SB 261, the law in which granted her another chance at freedom. “It is an honor to be in a position to create change and give back to my community. Inspiring hope to those who are hopeless, I is living proof that change is possible.” She will continue to fight for the rights of men and women so that they too can be free and have a second chance at life.

Efrain Padilla
DJJ Life Coach
Abel Diaz
Administrative & Development Coordinator
David Rey
Ranch Caretaker
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Ranch Caretaker
David Rey

David Rey personal transformation began when he was in County lockup, this is where he first started to pray and seek God. It took 11 years of incarceration for him to turn to God and become a Christian – this was THE game changer for him. After he began programming, taking college courses, and was transformed in mind, heart, and spirit. He believed this is why he had the heart and the passion he has today and why he does what he does, despite the traumas he experienced. To help set others free – physically and spiritually, his passion is to be of service and to help others heal and transform and he believes his work at the Ranch and with ARC, in general, does just that.

What inspires you?: “Helping Other’s become free.”

Richard London
Office Assistant
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Office Assistant
Richard London

Richard was incarcerated for 43 Years. He was arrested in 1975 and was paroled from prison on November 2, 2018.  He got involved with ARC the first month out of prison, and on February 19, 2019 he became a member. Shortly following his release he became an intern, then a full time employee of ARC.  He had a desire to work with and help troubled/incarcerated youth while in prison, because of his troubled past. “ARC helped me to become a Life Coach and Mentor for youth in the juvenile facilities in Sacramento and Yolo Counties.”

Workforce and Education

Angelica Martin
Director of Workforce and Education
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Director of Workforce and Education
Angelica Martin

Angelica Martin is the Associate Director of Workforce Development and Education, heading up the team responsible for developing and implementing strategies to advance greater equality through access to quality jobs and livable communities. Angelica began her community-based service career over 15 years ago, supporting and managing workforce and economic development programs. She brings a wealth of experience along with established partnerships in the community such as the City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s office, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, local council members, workforce boards, community-based organizations, schools and business leaders. Throughout the years she has worked with many vulnerable populations such as  people who are disabled, returning citizens, those with limited English, single parents and the homeless. She understands the struggles people face and knows if they are able to get out of poverty we will all be better off as a society. She is not afraid to work hard and believes that the job is not done until everyone has a fair chance at living a quality life.

Donald McCleary
Workforce and Education Life Coach
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Workforce and Education Life Coach
Donald McCleary

Donald “Donnie” McCleary is a Life Coach for the Second Chance Apprenticeship Readiness Program AKA…Construction Cohort! Donnie began working for ARC on Monday, March 5th, 2018 and has not looked back. He has given his all to making sure he gives back freely what was given to him. “I have done my best to make sure everyone I work with knows that I genuinely want them to have a wonderful, drug free life and now a career through the Second Chance Apprenticeship Readiness Program.”

After his mother passed away, Donnie lost all love for life and began to do and be exactly what he said he would never do. He became an addict like his mother. “I used to live and lived to use”.  After several trips to the local, county and state institutions, he got sick and tired of being sick and tired and finally asked for help. After both of his  stays in treatments centers, on Wednesday September 12th 1990, he was clean and sober and ready to go. He knew he needed to be a part of this thing called Recovery, “to regain that which I had,” and that began his path to ARC.

 

Cesar Zuniga
Workforce and Education Life Coach
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Workforce and Education Life Coach
Cesar Zuniga

Cesar Zuniga was born in Watts, a neighborhood in Southern Los Angeles, California. He is the youngest of two siblings. His second arrest came in 1991 at the age of 17 for a first-degree murder and four assaults w/a firearm, that he did not commit. In July of 1992 he was convicted by jury of all counts and was given 33 years to life. Through self-help and rehabilitation, on November 2015 he was given a second chance at freedom. He continued living a life of service out in the community by feeding the homeless, volunteering at a placement home for troubled youth and sharing his testimony any opportunity he was given.  Cesar is a Life Coach for The Anti Recidivism Coalition (ARC) and The Second Chance Apprenticeship Readiness Program. In April of 2020 he was officially discharged from parole early. He is now focused on building a new life for himself, and he is seeing a bright future of worthiness and righteousness. 

“Today I’m blessed to have a wonderful and fulfilling job.”

Scharleth Guadamuz
Workforce Coordinator
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Workforce Coordinator
Scharleth Guadamuz

Scharleth is the Workforce Coordinator for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Sacramento. For over 10 years, she has dedicated her platform to community outreach, social justice and serving the success of workforce pipelines by leading design and implementation of innovative talent, leadership and retention programs. Scharleth is a native from Los Angeles, is the youngest of four siblings and the daughter of Central Americans who migrated to the United States in the 70’s.

Scharleth joined the ARC in 2022 because it is important to her to foster a culture of freedom and mutual aid. Community solidarity, cultural healing, and working towards the abolition of systems that keep individuals behind walls is what drives her impact. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis in Sociology with a double minor in Human Rights and History; and she was a member of Beyond the Stats (BTS), a student organization that provides an equitable and inclusive community for formerly incarcerated and system-impacted students.

Vicente Sanchez
Workforce & Education Administrative Assistant
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Workforce & Education Administrative Assistant
Vicente Sanchez

Vicente is a dedicated, hard working and optimistic individual. He came to ARC September, 2021 where he began as an intern and later was hired as a full time staff member. What inspires him is life, family and friends. “Every waking moment is a gift from God.”

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