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.

Dana Jackson
Deputy Director
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Deputy Director
Dana Jackson

Dana Jackson is a native of Pennsylvania, but grew up in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UCLA, after which point, she began her career working with non-profit organizations, including roles as Family Advocate, Case Manager and Director of Human Resources.

Dana continued her education, earning an MBA with an HR Management concentration from American Intercontinental University and a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law. After 11 years of practicing as an Employment and Real Estate Attorney and as an Adjudicator in Atlanta, GA, Dana relocated back to sunny California, where she has happily returned to the Human Resources and non-profit arenas, hoping to bring more smiles and make a more meaningful impact on her community.

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.”

Norma Cumpian
Assistant Deputy Director
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Assistant Deputy Director
Norma Cumpian

Norma Cumpian, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s (ARC) Women’s Department 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 navigating society after returning home from prison.

Norma is an unrelenting advocate for incarcerated women and girls. She has traveled to the California State Capitol to educate legislators, spoken on panels, and presented in numerous classrooms in order to affect change for incarcerated women, mothers, and girls and to create a fairer justice system for all. In 2019, she co-designed and launched ARC’s first Women’s Services department to better serve the needs of 1,300+ formerly and currently incarcerated members.

In 2020 she was the appointed by Governor Newsom, with senate approval, to sit on the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). She was reappointed for a second term in 2023. In all of her work, she is most proud to continue to carve out spaces to ensure formerly incarcerated voices are heard and valued.

Advocacy and Community Organizing

Celina Chapin
Associate Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
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Associate Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
Celina Chapin

Celina Chapin grew up in the Florida Panhandle and North Carolina. She holds a Law Degree from Loyola Law School and Undergraduate Degrees in Political Science and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been working in the advocacy department at ARC in Los Angeles since 2017. Prior to that, Celina volunteered as a policy researcher at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, taught dance and theatre at a women’s correctional complex, and worked as a choreographer in Austin, Texas.

Kent Mendoza
Associate Director of Local Advocacy
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Associate Director of Local Advocacy
Kent Mendoza

Kent Mendoza was born in Mexico but migrated to the United States at the age of six and was raised in Los Angeles County. Being in a foreign country, poor and with no farther, he was quickly expose to gangs, drugs, and violence. He joined a gang at the age of fourteen which led to his incarceration at fifteen and served time in a probation camp. At the age of seventeen, he was tried as an adult for a crime he didn’t commit and was facing a prison life sentence. Fortunately, Kent beat it and instead was sent to California’s Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and served an overall 5 years incarcerated. Kent’s story saved him when he spoked to an Immigrating Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent who believed in him and was then released from incarceration on April 9th, 2014.

Kent is a youth justice expert, mentor community organizer, activist, artist, writer, motivational speaker, and filmmaker. He is also the Manager of Advocacy and Community Organizing at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) where he first started off as the Member and Community Engagement Coordinator in 2016. Prior to ARC, Kent worked at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce on smart justice issues from 2014 to 2016. He was appointed to and serves on California’s State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (SACJJDP) by Governor J. Brown in 2016. Kent has also been serving on the Los Angeles Juvenile Justice Coordinated Council (JJCC) since 2018. He has also been working with the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) on the founding and implementation of the LA County’s Youth Justice Reimagined (YJR) vision and the first ever Department of Youth Development (DYD) since 2020. Lastly, Kent is a Represent Justice Alumni and filmmaker of two films, animated film title, “Chasing The Mexican Dream” and a short documentary of about his life and work, “A Million Dollar Cage”.

Christopher Lodgson
Policy and Community Organizing Manager
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Policy and Community Organizing Manager
Christopher Lodgson

Chris Lodgson is a Community Organizing and Policy Manager in the Sacramento office of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) and lead organizer/advocate for the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California. Originally from New York City, now living in Sacramento California, Chris has organized and advocated on behalf of local community-based and political organizations, as well as with local, state, and national nonprofit organizations for over 13 years on both the East Coast and West Coast. Chris is also the 2022 recipient of the Fannie Lou Hamer Boots on the Ground Award for Community Organizing from the National Assembly of American Slavery Descendants (NAASD).

Jared Villery
Expungement Fellow
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Expungement Fellow
Jared Villery

Growing up in West Los Angeles, Jared found himself on the wrong side of the law several times as a troubled youth. Despite his circumstances, he managed to turn his life around and began attending college at the age of 19. Unfortunately, just a few months later Jared was falsely accused of a robbery that he never committed. Having been unjustly arrested and convicted, he spent the next 20-years of his life in the carceral environment refusing to let that time go to waste. He dedicated the last 18-years of his imprisonment toward the pursuit of an autodidactic legal education, which he used to become an advocate for himself and other prisoners. 

Jared developed a passion for fighting against injustice in a broken prison system, building himself into a successful litigator in both state and federal court. After obtaining five associate degrees while incarcerated, and achieving numerous legal victories, Jared is now on the road to law school, and has chosen to bring his fierce passion for justice to his work as an Expungement Fellow with ARC. In this role he is using his skills and knowledge to ensure that our community reaps the greatest benefits possible from the changes brought about through the passage of SB 731, in the hopes that he can continue to help give all of our community a true second chance through the criminal record expungement process.

Tyrique Shipp
Policy and Community Organizing Fellow
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Policy and Community Organizing Fellow
Tyrique Shipp

I’m a passionate advocate for social justice hailing from South Central Los Angeles. After the many traumas I dealt with, earned a degree in Political Science from California State  University Northridge (CSUN), I have spent the last ten years organizing rallies and fighting for change. My personal journey has motivated me to address recidivism and pursue education as a positive transformation.

Esteban Nuñez
Chief Strategy Consultant & Lobbyist
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Chief Strategy Consultant & Lobbyist
Esteban Nuñez

Esteban Núñez, a distinguished activist with nearly a decade of legislative experience across various sectors nationwide, is fervently dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system. Drawing from his personal journey as a formerly incarcerated individual, he advocates tirelessly for policies that address the disproportionate impact on marginalized and minority communities. Beyond his role at ARC, Esteban serves as the Senior Vice President of Actum, a nonpartisan consulting firm, and previously held a position as legislative director at Reviver. His overarching mission is to foster an equitable and humane justice system where all individuals are treated equally under the law.

Clinical & Wellness

Felicia Auerbach
LCSW
Director of Clinical Services
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Director of Clinical Services
Felicia Auerbach

Felicia Auerbach is the Director of Clinical Services with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition as of July 2023. Felicia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been in the field of social services for over 16 years, 8 of which has been within the Criminal Justice system. Previously, she oversaw programs addressing the mental health needs of individuals who were previously incarcerated and assisted them with transitioning back in to their communities. Felicia believes in looking at the whole person and understanding that each individual has their own unique set of circumstances and approaches them with a trauma-informed lens.

I am inspired daily at the resilience of individuals who have had to work within a system that isn’t always working with them, and to see how successful they can be with support from their peers and the communities.

Jessie Simental
LA
Mental Health Therapist
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Mental Health Therapist
Jessie Simental

Jessie Simental was a former ARC MSW intern from August 2021 to May 2022; and has joined as a full time Mental Health Therapist in June 2023. Jessie had provided individual and group therapy in various settings such as for the Veteran Affairs, ARC, and in Bayless Integrated Healthcare. Interning and providing services to the members of ARC, Jessie’s interest in reintegration grew. Jessie is currently working towards his licensure in social work and continues to provide services to his community in ARC. Jessie received his Bachelors in Social Work at California State University of Los Angeles, and his Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California with the focus on Adult Mental Health.

My family is my inspiration. Seeing them be the best they can has inspired me to be the best I can.

Felicia Salmon
MFT Intern
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MFT Intern
Felicia Salmon

Felicia was born and raised in East Los Angeles. She is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s Degree in Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy. Additionally, she holds a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Education from UC Irvine. Since 2018, Felicia has been working as a counselor in addiction treatment, providing support to formerly incarcerated individuals on their recovery journey. Her impactful experience volunteering in Juvenile Hall has inspired her ongoing passion to help people break cycles perpetuated by trauma. Felicia feels honored to walk alongside others on their paths of redemption, transformation, and healing. Prior to becoming a counselor, she worked in the non-profit sector, facilitating community outreach efforts to empower youth in South Central Los Angeles. For self-care, Felicia enjoys meditation, communing with nature, reading and spending time with her dog Jupiter.

Communications

Ben Lear
Director of Communications
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Director of Communications
Ben Lear

Ben Lear is an award-winning filmmaker and composer.

He produced and directed THEY CALL US MONSTERS (2017), a feature documentary about juveniles facing life sentences, which premiered on PBS Independent Lens and won the audience award for its 2016-2017 season. His short film, BAD FOR THE BOATS (2017), premiered at the Academy Award-qualifying Palm Springs International Shortfest and continued to play in festivals around the country. He has also produced and directed numerous short documentaries for organizations including Represent Justice, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the LinkedLearning Alliance.

Previously, Ben Lear wrote and performed in LILLIAN: A FOLK OPERA (2010), which premiered at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC and led to performances at TED and the UN. His original song, “Imaginary Friends,” made the Academy Award shortlist for Best Original Song in 2011.

Sarah Florez
Senior Design and Communications Associate
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Senior Design and Communications Associate
Sarah Florez

Sarah is the Senior Design and 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.

Josh Pynoos
Communications and Advocacy Strategist
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Communications and Advocacy Strategist
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 messaging, 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. He holds an MPP from USC. His favorite part about working at ARC is seeing people come home from incarceration and become valued community members

Nicholas Tirado
Storytelling and Content Associate
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Storytelling and Content Associate
Nicholas Tirado

Nicholas Tirado is a young man who grew up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. He lived with his grandmother for most of his life and learned everything from her. At 13 years old, he moved to Fresno, California, to be exact. Upon arriving in California, he was arrested as a juvenile for a crime he did not commit, thus beginning his journey of getting lost in the vortex of circumstance and poverty. Meeting his former gang inside the Fresno juvenile halls was a pivotal moment in his life, subsequently leading him to a further prison sentence. After spending 11 years in CDCR, he came to Los Angeles to change his life. Since doing so, he found photography and content creation. He uses his love for poetry to create poetic videos and applies the soul of a poet to the eye of a photographer. With his short success, he has managed to grow a lot in that field and is now an intern for ARC, doing what he loves. “Don’t judge where I’m at because you don’t know where I’ve been” is a quote that has led him to thrive in the free world.

Development & Strategic Partnerships

Celine Nehme
Director of Development
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Director of Development
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.

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”

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.

Jasmine Serna
Grant Writer
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Grant Writer
Jasmine Serna

Jasmine is an LA native with a passion for writing and helping the most marginalized communities. She brings these passions together as a grant writer for ARC. She has a background in administration, hospitality, and spent eight years as a middle school color guard coach. She got started in grant writing by volunteering at a local nonprofit bookstore, where she currently still volunteers. She has a BA in English with a minor in Sociology from Azusa Pacific University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. She was drawn to ARC because of her family’s redemptive personal history and truly believes in the power of second chances.

Finance and Operations

Charlie Cho
Finance Manager
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Finance Manager
Charlie Cho

Charlie Cho is the Grants, Contracts & Finance Analyst at Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He has a background in finance & accounting and ethnic studies. He has a passion for serving underserved communities, having previously worked with the Asian American/Pacific Islander community to address the issues of mental health and domestic violence, and is currently committed to ARC’s mission in tackling mass incarceration.

Kimberli Curtis
Office Manager
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Office Manager
Kimberli Curtis

Kimberli Curtis was born and raised in Chicago. She has lived in Berkeley, CA, Atlanta and New York before residing in Los Angeles. She started as temp at ARC and became the permanent Office Manager in November 2023. During that same time, she pursued and completed her Masters in Humanities of Art. She comes from a background of dance with a love for writing, learning new things, and helping others. Although she’s not formerly incarcerated, she has always had a deep concern for those who were system impacted. And in this role, she loves that she’s one of the first faces that people see when they come home.

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.

Brianna Austin
Finance Associate
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Finance Associate
Brianna Austin

Brianna Austin currently works in the Finance Department at ARC. She has a background in accounting handling large corporation’s finances. She decided she wanted to give back and bring her expertise to a nonprofit organization that helps their local community and provides amazing resources to people that have similar backgrounds of close family and friends.

Silvia Arias
Finance Associate
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Finance Associate
Silvia Arias

Silvia Arias currently works in the Finance Department at ARC. She has a background in accounting in a variety of for-profit companies such as construction and HVAC services. After nearly two decades working in the for-profit sector, Silvia felt that it was time to give back to the community and bring her knowledge to a nonprofit organization that provides much-needed resources and assistance to those who have faced challenging paths in their lives.

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.

Hollywood Dorm

Faith Thomas
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Faith Thomas

Faith Thomas joined ARC in March 2023. Her lived experience with incarceration has given her the urge to want to give back to the same community she spent most of her life in. Faith is currently attending Long Beach City College as a full-time student, majoring in Social Work. She is inspired by being the best that she can be, through all adversity, and by remaining the same individual, no matter who is looking.

Los Angeles County Training Center

Luis Venegas
Program Manager
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Program Manager
Luis Venegas

Luis was incarcerated as a youth and uses this experience as motivation to support youth at the Juvenile Hall. Upon reentering society, Luis got involved with non-profit work where he was able to develop and facilitate programing for youth at a local juvenile hall. He joined ARC in early 2023 and has always admired the mission and now is proud to share in that mission at ARC.

Lorena

Michael Hawk
Program Manager
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Program Manager
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
Senior Life Coach
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Senior 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.

Anthony Melendez
Data Entry Clerk
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Data Entry Clerk
Anthony Melendez

Anthony Melendez is a former lifer who has been deeply affected by the criminal justice system since the age of 16, primarily due to his own decisions and corrupt law enforcement practices. However, it was during his last sentence that he experienced a transformative moment. Preparing to appear before a board hearing not only taught him about his true self but also instilled a sense of gratitude within him. Today, Anthony is fortunate to be employed as a life coach at ARC, where he has the opportunity to work with individuals reintegrating into society after incarceration.

 

Denise Munoz
Lorena Life Coach
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Lorena Life Coach
Denise Munoz

Denise Munoz is born and raised in South Los Angeles. She grew up surrounded by chaos and witnessed a lot of traumatic events, that eventually led her to prison where she served 20 years. Today she is a grateful citizen and enjoys helping others, volunteering in supporting other organizations, and to be of service. She has an amazing job working at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition at the Lorena House as a life coach. She is also a proud student at East Los Angeles College.

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
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Lorena Resident Advisor
Steve Estrada

Steve Estrada is a native of Bakersfield California. He comes from a very large family, so he’s family oriented. Steve loves to play sports such as Basketball, tennis and chess. He currently works part-time as a resident advisor for ARC’s Lorena housing complex. Steve loves the idea of giving back to his community. Very compassionate about preventing recidivism.

Kevin Jackson
Lorena Life Coach
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Lorena Life Coach
Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson is a grateful beneficiary of SB 261. Having been sentenced to life in prison at the age of 17, Kevin never thought that he would be graced with a second chance. While in prison he decided to commit to a life change and was later granted parole, after having served 23 years. In his reentry, he has worked in roles that has poured back into the most underserved populations. Today he is working in housing to serve our returning citizens in their journey of reentry.

Magnolia

Marvin Gulley
Program Manager
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Program Manager
Marvin Gulley

Marvin came to ARC after working in substance abuse treatment for the last 8 years. Marvin has been clean and sober since 2012. He is grateful for the opportunities his sobriety has afforded him. Marvin has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from the University of Redlands. He is also interested in pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration in the very near future.

I am inspired by the countless sacrifices those that came before me have made.

Greg Williams
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Greg Williams

Gregory Williams is a Life Coach for Transitional Age Youth (TAY) at Magnolia Housing. He has had a tumultuous upbringing in Long Beach, where he was raised by a single mother alongside his older brother. Despite facing difficulties from a young age, he demonstrated qualities of charisma, compassion, and an entrepreneurial spirit.Unfortunately, he began to adopt the street lifestyle, leading him to become involved with the law and repeatedly entering the juvenile system. He attempted to turn his life around with the help of a close friend but was unable to sustain the changes. Later, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. This experience led him to rededicate himself to Christ after the loss of many of his friends he felt he was misled down the wrong path.Gregory found his calling in the youth and began sharing his testimony of hope and redemption through his music. After his release in 2019, he committed himself to serving Christ and his community, also those who are incarcerated. He became a member of ARC, an organization that connected him with other non-profits such as CEO, which helped him find employment at Christ-centered ministries. He gained valuable experience there and became a case manager for Victory Starts Now. Williams found fulfillment in serving his community, knowing that it was part of his purpose. He eventually became a TAY life coach at ARC, where he was once a member. He is now committed to empowering youth by setting an example and being a positive agent of change.

Moses Gallegos
Life Coach
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Life 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.

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
Alcohol/Other Drugs Counselor (AOD Counselor)
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Alcohol/Other Drugs Counselor (AOD Counselor)
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
Barrett Fadden
Weekend Program Monitor
George Lopez
VTC Program Monitor
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VTC Program Monitor
George Lopez

George Lopez joined ARC in May of 2019 and is formerly incarcerated. He worked in the construction field for most of his life, when he did work. He went to back to school in 2017 and graduated in 2020 from Oxnard community college with an AA in sociology and certificate in addiction disorder studies. He works full time as a drug counselor at a methadone clinic in Ventura, and part time for ARC on the weekends at VTC (Ventura Training Center) as a monitor support. He has a heart for people, especially the addicted and formerly incarcerated because that was him. His faith keeps him grounded and he loves seeing the success stories that happen at VTC.

Robert Gonzalez
VTC Program Monitor
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VTC Program Monitor
Robert Gonzalez

Robert Gonzales is a Night Monitor at VTC Training Center. He feels blessed beyond words to finally be home and working for such a great corporation. To be able to help and speak with those wanting a better life is an amazing honor.
He is a first year student at LAMC. He hopes to be able to obtain my BA in the coming years. As they say it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

Javier Vazquez
VTC Program Monitor
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VTC Program Monitor
Javier Vazquez

Javier Vazquez joined ARC in July of 2021. He worked part time for ARC on the weekends at VTC (Ventura Training Center) as a Program Monitor. He then moved to a full time position because he loves to see the change that happens with previously incarcerated individuals at VTC. Seeing the change from each participant from the start of the 18-month program to being hired by CAL FIRE is what drives Javier to work every day. His favorite part of ARC is that it will guide you to become a very productive, proactive and producing member of society.

Freddy Cardenas
Overnight Monitor - VTC
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Overnight Monitor - VTC
Freddy Cardenas

Freddy is a overnight program monitor at the Ventura training center academy. he was formerly incarcerated for three decades, in which he participated, completed and facilitated numerous self-help groups. his passion is to assist and see the change in previously incarcerated individuals at VTC.

Human Resources

Sandy Mariscal
HR Manager
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HR Manager
Sandy Mariscal

Sandy brings a diverse perspective shaped by her upbringing in locations spanning the Inland Empire, Florida, and Mexico. Holding a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, she embarked on a career in HR within the for-profit sector, navigating roles in manufacturing to finance.ARC marks Sandy’s foray into the non-profit realm, aligning with her personal connection to the organization’s mission. Despite being new to the public sector, Sandy’s wealth of HR experience is complemented by a genuine compassion for others and a lifelong commitment to serving.Motivated by a sense of purpose, Sandy chose HR as her career path to aid employees in their personal and professional development. With a heartfelt dedication to providing support, she aspires to contribute significantly to ARC’s mission of fostering redemption and second chances.

Eryka Stovall
HR Generalist
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HR Generalist
Eryka Stovall

Eryka Stovall was raised in Fresno, CA but has lived in the Greater Los Angeles area for many years. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from California State University, Fresno, where she was a founder, VP, and Director of Community Outreach for the college’s first ever African American Business Student Association.

Eryka has worked in many industries from Manufacturing & Hospitality to Production & Tech. ARC is her introduction to the Non-Profit sector, however, she is no stranger to philanthropy. She volunteered with Make-A-Wish Foundation: Central Valley Chapter for many years, built playgrounds in underserved communities with KaBOOM!, and travelled to Haiti to assist in rebuilding schools after the devasting 2010 earthquake.

Along with her years of HR experience, she brings compassion, her life’s purpose of serving others, and passion for redemption & second chances to the ARC team.

Inside Programs

Jacob Brevard
Director of Inside Programs
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Director of Inside Programs
Jacob Brevard

Jacob Brevard is the Associate Director of Inside Programs for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). A former life prisoner himself, Jacob has firsthand experience with the many challenges that formerly incarcerated people face upon their release from prison. Jacob manages the Hope and Redemption Team (HART), comprised former lifers who return to California state prisons to provide hope, demonstrate that redemption is achievable, and prepare participants for successful re-entry into our communities. Jacob is a fierce advocate for cultural change in the criminal Justice system. He has traveled to the state capital, spoken on panels, and presented in numerous arenas in the hopes of changing the narrative around mass incarceration.

David Amaya
HART Program Manager - Southern Region
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HART Program Manager - Southern Region
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.

Wajuba McDuffy
HART Program Manager – Northern Region
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HART Program Manager – Northern Region
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 Programs Coordinator
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Inside Programs Coordinator
Derrick Miles

Derrick Miles is the Inside Program Coordinator at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, where he supports incarcerated individuals in their journey towards reintegration into society. Having spent 18 years behind bars himself, Derrick understands the unique challenges of the experience of incarceration. He works tirelessly to provide support, guidance, and resources to help these individuals succeed upon release. Derrick’s holistic approach focuses on identifying each individual’s unique strengths and passions, connecting them with the resources they need to achieve their goals. His work is creating a brighter future for countless individuals who might otherwise be lost in the cycle of recidivism.

Danzell Nunsuch
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Danzell Nunsuch

Meet Danzell Nunsuch, a member of the Hope & Redemption Team (HART) at ARC, symbolizing resilience and the potential for positive transformation. Sentenced to 16-to-life at the tender age of 17, Danzell embarked on a journey of profound personal growth. Within the confines of prison, he pursued and obtained a B.A. in Business Management. His path toward self-improvement led him to join Toastmasters International, where he refined his leadership and public speaking skills, even behind bars. Danzell transformed learning into leadership by mentoring his peers and facilitating self-help programs, using his voice as a force for change. Upon his release in April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Danzell navigated a series of challenges. He volunteered at the Yolo County Food Bank and completed the Northern California Construction Training Pre-Apprenticeship program. His professional journey progressed as he took on roles at Laborers Local 185 and the Teichert Energy & Utilities Group.

In addition, Danzell co-founded Be Slim Bariatrics, applying his expertise in business and marketing. As a published author and motivational speaker, he draws on his life experiences to inspire and guide others, demonstrating the transformative power of education, relentless perseverance, and the essence of second chances. In 2023, Danzell’s dedication to inclusivity and innovation was recognized when he won the Norcal SBDC Inclusivity Project Pitch Deck Competition, further underscoring his commitment to making a positive impact on society.

Danzell’s life serves as a powerful testament to the belief that no matter one’s starting point, the narrative of one’s life can be reshaped. It’s a tale of tenacity, of discovering light in the darkest of places, and of recognizing the boundless potential within us all. Danzell is not merely a HART team member; he is a vivid example of the transformative strength of education, resolve, and the indomitable human spirit.

Brandon Patterson
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Brandon Patterson

Brandon Patterson was born and raised in Fresno California
and was introduced to the criminal justice system at the early age
of twelve years old, eventually leading him into the California
Department of Correction with 25 years to Life sentence.
Brandon is a proud member of the Anti -Recidivism
Coalitions Hope and redemption team, who is dedicated to giving
back what was given to him…. The opportunity for change.
Brandon is a living testimony that change is possible if one is
willing to put in the hard work necessary, leading by example and
proving that anything is possible.
Brandon Patterson is now currently assigned as an ARC’s
HART Life Coach at Jamestown State Prison facilitating the very
classes that he once participated in. Who now is living his life
today dedicated to giving back to the incarcerated population and
the community he came from in hopes that they can get what he
did out of the curriculum…. FREEDOM and most importantly
genuine change!

 

Carlos Aceves
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Carlos Aceves

Carlos Aceves did 21 years in prison and found redemption through his higher power Jesus Christ. He was granted parole in 2014 on his initial hearing and has given his life to servitude. He is now a senior Life Coach at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Los Angeles California since 2018, where he takes rehabilitated self-help programs to incarcerated individuals throughout the State so they can address their maladaptive behavior through cognitive therapy. He also volunteers at the Training Center and assists in facilitating self-help classes and counseling the Youth with “Off the Street Program” where he counsels juveniles periodically. In addition, he also started a non-profit organization called, Cognitive Research Institute (CRI) where he gives back to the formerly incarcerated (lifers) when they come home so they can acclimate into their transition to society. He volunteers occasionally at “The Rescue Mission” where he teaches ethics that are biblically based to the homeless population. Furthermore, he is a certified substance abuse counselor in the State of California, counseling drug addicts and alcoholics, and assisting them in their recovery. 

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.

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.  

Joseph Herrera
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Joseph Herrera

Joseph Herrera is a former lifer. After serving 21 years, he was given a second chance. As part of the Hope And Redemption Team (HART), he hopes to inspire others that change is possible. Joseph is a firm believer that with sheer determination and resolve, one can become a better person and a responsible member of society.

For the last five years, he has been involved in youth diversion, prison in-reach, and community group circles. Changing minds and hearts is what gives Joseph the fuel to live a purpose-driven life.

Returning home in 2019, Joseph dove straight into the workforce and started providing for his family. However, he felt something was missing. Joseph knew exactly what it was — simply being of service to others. Not just making a change, but being that change.

David Garnica
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
David Garnica

David Garnica is Hope and Redemption Team (HART) Lead Life Coach! I facilitate self help groups at Corcoran and Kern Valley state prisons. I started life coaching since 2017 when ARC began the program. I have been part of ARC since the very beginning, when I met Scott in Ironwood back in 2010, I knew then that being part of this organization was exactly my calling. Being able to bring hope and motivation to our brothers and sisters we left behind, is something I value as my purpose and a way to give back.Remember that tough times serve their purpose in your life, they will teach you what you are made of and what you need to improve to make your life better. Embrace them as you learn from them. Some of my favorite things to do on my free time is spending time with my family and getting together with friends who also went through the struggle of regaining their freedom. After serving 23 years incarcerated, I have found that in life you will always find something to be grateful for, no matter the circumstances. True happiness can only be found within yourself before it can be shared with anyone else.

Joe Soto
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Joe Soto

Jose, born and raised in Los Angeles, found himself serving a 164-year sentence in prison. His inspiration to embark on this transformative journey was sparked by the many remarkable individuals who conducted groups akin to ARC’s H.A.R.T group. Despite enduring years of despair and hopelessness, Jose found a glimmer of optimism after being influenced by these individuals. Recognizing the potential for freedom, he began a gradual process of change. Along the way, he came to the realization that his past had been marked by selfishness, understanding that a complete personal transformation was necessary for liberation. After 21 years of incarceration, Jose was finally granted his freedom.

In his role as a Hart Life Coach, Jose aspires to impart hope to others, emphasizing that despite their challenging circumstances, they can overcome and return from the depths. He firmly believes that individuals, even those who have engaged in desperate acts for survival, have the opportunity and agency to make the choice to transform their lives. Since gaining his freedom, Jose has taken on the role of a Curriculum Correspondence Advocate and advisor for Mass Liberation. In these capacities, he shares his insights with men and women who have taken the initial steps toward change and reentry. Jose expresses his dream to continue the transformative work that shaped him into the person he is today, contributing to the freedom he earned. His ultimate goal is to inspire the next generation with the hope he gained throughout his own journey

Candice Lewis
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Candice Lewis

Candice Lewis is a Life Coach for the Hope and Redemption Team for ARC specializing in facilitating and coaching women through transition and into balanced, healthy, purposeful lives with prayers of rehabilitation and a decrease in mass incarceration. 

As a Life coach she serves the incarcerated women by filling the gap between where they are now, and were they want to be. By identifying where growth is desired, setting goals and objectives, and taking accountability for not only myself but those around me. Her own personal struggles have led herself to where  and she is today. She knows what it’s like to feel stuck, directionless, and without purpose. She was sentenced to 25 years to life at the age of 16 and 4 months pregnant. She was released on my 14th year of incarceration which is another reason why she is  able to relate on so many levels to those facing imprisonment. 

“I love working for ARC because they are very passionate about ending mass incarceration and providing all necessary resources to those incarcerated. The positive energy and all of the support, fight and consistency that ARC gives to the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women. My drive and purpose is to be that walking testimony of hope and redemption, serving the community and making a difference in other peoples’ lives. That is not only rewarding to me, but it is deeply fulfilling. ARC also carries the same beliefs and ambitions which makes working for this organization even more desirable. 

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, going to the movies, traveling and connecting with friends and family. I love music and laughing so any chance that I get and I’m able to go to a comedy show, better believe that I’ll be there!!!”

Cedric Pierce
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Cedric Pierce

I grew up in East Palo Alto, parented by two teenagers with very little life experience. I can openly admit my mother Gloria did her best with what she knew. My dad was more of the street type which dominated our family creating many struggles.

As youth I began to participate in criminal activites, which eventually led to a 40 years to life prison term. It took me 15 years of that sentence to begin to change. When I decided to change, I was all in and within 8 years of that decision, Governor Newsom commuted my sentence.

I’ve founded a few businesses since my release, but felt unfulfilled. When the opportunity presented itself to become a Life Coach for ARC, I didn’t hesitate. ARC provided me with a purpose driven life and the resourses to give back. Becoming a Life Coach is my dream career. To be part of an organization that has such a great impact with real change, is an honor.

I’m inspired and motivated daily to being a great Dad, Husband and Life Coach. I realize how short life is and focus on the quality of this experience by having great reltionships. In a nutshell, I’m extremely inspired by life itself.

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.”

James Sulamo
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
James Sulamo

James Sulamo is a Hope & Redemption (HART) Team member at Anti Recidivism Coalition. He is a former lifer and was incarcerated for over 28 years. It took him decades to unlearn the negative beliefs he was taught to live by as a youth. He has internalized many self-help tools and he personally knows how to translate the language of drug and gang addiction into recovery and positivity. It is his passion to teach those lost in ‘The Life’ that they no longer have to live that way. He has learned many of his life lessons the hard way, his change was gradual during his incarceration. For this his is thankful, because it’s ingrained in him.

By 2016 he was walking a positive path behind the walls and was given the opportunity to earn my release by SB261. He began a very focused and determined journey to live a life of amends. He earned his release date from CDCR in February 2023. Since then he has continued to work in the recovery community facilitating a 12 step group weekly as well as doing speaking engagements for the probation department.

He is  proud and thankful that ARC has given him the opportunity to become part of the HART team as a life coach.

Benny Tapia
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Benny Tapia

Benny Tapia is a Life Coach on the Hope and Redemption Team.

He was first introduced to the adult criminal justice system at the age of 16. Recovery for him was a long and arduous process spanning most of his adult life.

Today, through grace and the people god put in his path, Benny is humble, compassionate and committed to making our communities safe.

 

With over a decade of facilitating experience, he strives to empower people on their journeys to recovery by offering positive direction.

 

Through ARC, Benny provides an expansive support network, comprehensive reentry services, and a tireless commitment to ending mass incarceration.

Rayvaughn Embry
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Rayvaughn Embry

Rayvaughn is a former lifer who served 18 years on a 19-to-life sentence. During his incarceration, he immersed himself in education and self-help, determined to regain his freedom. With the help of Bill (261), he was able to do so. In 2017, Rayvaughn participated in the HART workshops and became an ARC member. Upon his release in 2019, Rayvaughn has kept the same attitude, energy, and positivity towards his life. Rayvaughn became a HART team member in 2024 and is now sharing the same hope he received with those still incarcerated.

Carlos Tolentino
HART Life Coach
Luis Vargas
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Luis Vargas

Luis has been a HART life-coach since the month of October of 2022, his passion and collaboration to the HART team’s efforts to help our participants in and out of prison has been demonstrated by the professionalism and passion he contributes to the team. As an ex-lifer sentenced to 55 years to life, of which he did 18 years, Luis has not let the traumas and setbacks brought about by what he suffered become a detriment to the goals he has set himself while he was still behind the walls. While incarcerated he achieved his AA in Behavioral Sciences, AA in Math and Science, and an AA in Arts and Humanities. As well as his ADS, Alcohol Drug Services Specialist I&II. He has also served as a facilitator in several workshops in and out of prison, including ACP Alcohol Counseling Program inside of Ironwood State Prison in which he also became an accredited counselor. Luis’ journey continues as he helps to end mass incarceration through education and collaboration as a credible messenger to help reform California’s overcrowded and broken judicial system.

Willie Woods
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Willie Woods

Willie Woods is a Heart Team Life Coach for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). I have been doing this now with ARC and the  HART Team for 9 months and he couldn’t think of anything that he would want to do more than to see people be successful in life one person at a time.

Joan (Johny) Diaz
HART Life Coach
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HART Life Coach
Joan (Johny) Diaz

I am originally from the central valley. I was born in October so that would make me a libra. I enjoy spending time with friends, going out to eat, seeing a good movie, and or trying new things. I also enjoy and appreciate people, building new relationships, and working together. I consider myself an outgoing person and humorous.

The belief that I can make a change through actions of kindness, love, and compassion.

Credible Messengers (Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall & Campus Kilpatrick)

Willie Edwards
Credible Messenger Supervisor
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Credible Messenger Supervisor
Willie Edwards

Willie Edwards is the Credible Messenger Supervisor with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Will, began his career working with non-profit organizations, taking on roles as:Special Projects, Housing Coordinator, Transportation and Support Services Supervisor.Receiving his degree from Coastline Community College majoring in Behavioral Science and minor in Business Administration. Will, finally has taking on a role that he is passionate about in “Youth Intervention”.A former youth offender/prisoner himself, Will has firsthand experience with the many challenges that youth offenders and the formerly incarcerated face upon their release from prison.

Serafin Leon
Credible Messenger Supervisor
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Credible Messenger Supervisor
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.

Nathan D’Andre Harvey
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Nathan D’Andre Harvey

Nathan was born and raised in Carson,CA. Initially he thrived in both sports and academics before the  choice of living the gang lifestyle took him down a different path. That journey includes a 20 years to Life sentence that came with the struggles of a youth incarcerated at an early age. Along the way triumph came as he educated himself, took responsibility for his actions, earned a degree in Business Management from Ashworth College and ultimately his freedom after 28 years. Now he is actively giving back by doing his this work as a Credible Messenger.

Norman Mitchell
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Norman Mitchell

Norman Mitchell, working under ARC’s umbrella as a CREDIBLE MESSENGER, considers it a true blessing. He grew up in Compton, CA, and was once affiliated with gangs throughout his youth. At the age of 34, he made the greatest decision of his life by denouncing all gang associations while on a level 4 prison yard. He realized that before getting out of prison, he needed to get prison out of him. After 26 years in prison, he accepted that he still had a debt to pay and committed himself to helping those who might still be in prison or affected by it. In his spare time, Norman enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, playing chess, feeding the homeless or needy, and speaking about the goodness of God.

Javier Leon
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Javier Leon

Javier Leon was born and raised in South Central LA. As a teenager and young man growing up in the 1980’s–1990’s, during the hight of the crack cocaine epidemic, Javier faced dire odds of survival. He witnessed his community ravished by gang/drug violence, and drug addiction. At 14 years old, he would witness his 17-yr-old brother arrested for murder and sent to prison for 32 years. Soon after Javier’s brother was incarcerated, Javier joined the local gang and began living a life of crime and being arrested and jailed in the LA County jail himself. Credit to Javier’s brother mentoring him about being a gang member and living a life of crime, Javier was able to turn his life around and become a positive and productive member of society. Today, Javier is a family man; and, having recently joined ARC’s Credible Messenger team, it is his honor to work alongside other Credible Messengers in mentoring incarcerated youths, with the goal of helping the youths heal from past trauma so they may safely return to their communities as better versions of themselves.

He is inspired knowing that he wakes up everyday to go to work and help youths change their lives for the better and return to their communities as productive and positive members of society.

Bert Cole
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Bert Cole

Bert writes that after living a very destructive lifestyle of crime and being formerly incarcerated for approximately 24 years, he is now serving as a Credible Messenger (Transformative Mentor) with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition for incarcerated youth. He also served as a Life Coach, as part of the Hope & Redemption Team in 2018 for incarcerated adults. Through self-help and rehabilitation, Bert was able to transform my life and help others transform their lives.

Robert Hill
Credible Messenger
Richard Richard
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Richard Richard

Richard Richard is currently serving as a mentor with the Credible Messenger Program. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles, CA. After receiving a life sentence as a teenager, Richard worked to become an advocate for change and dedicated his life to encouraging, teaching, and inspiring others to become active in their own personal growth. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and taking on worthy opponents in playing chess. Richard is proud to be a part of ARC, an organization that has taken an active approach in anti-recidivism, mentoring, providing resources, housing, mental support, and justice for the community of adult and youth offenders and looks forward to the future success of the organization.

Robert Martinez
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez is filled with gratitude to be a part of the Credible Messenger team with ARC. He believes his purpose is to strengthen the bond of incarcerated people/formally incarcerated people and community. His observation and personal experience with both has allowed him to see the importance of support ,forgiveness, and empathy. For this reason ,Robert champions meaningful programs for incarcerated individuals because he believes in their essential value. Having been formally incarcerated he can attest to the rehabilitative programs that provided an incredible path to his transformation. He obtained his AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences, certification as a Paralegal, Veterinarian assistant certification, and his love for dog training. Robert hopes to be an asset to such a meaningful cause with the ARC family.

Jason Holland
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Jason Holland

Jason Holland is a grateful member of the Credible Messenger team with ARC. He served 28 years on what was originally an LWOP sentence within the CDCR. Jason credits the ARC HART team as being integral to his rehabilitation and life change. Now, he aims to utilize his experience and education to help others in their transformation process. This includes helping them develop an awareness of what they need to change in their lives, encouraging a willingness to make that change, and then supporting them as they take action.

Michael Arreygue
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Michael Arreygue

Michael Arreygue is a formerly incarcerated individual who served 22 years for a crime he committed at 17. Michael was given a second opportunity at life when a deputy district attorney decided to review his file for resentencing. Michael has joined the Credible Messenger team with the goal of becoming an integral part of helping the youth transform their lives. It is Michael’s passion to be of service to the youth and be a pivotal force in preventing the youth from becoming incarcerated as he once was.

Jaime Rojas
Credible Messenger

Credible Messengers (Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall)

Ceasar Galvez
Credible Messenger, Re-Entry TAY Mentor
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Credible Messenger, Re-Entry TAY Mentor
Ceasar Galvez

Ceasar Galvez, is a Re-Entry TAY Mentor at The Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He has invaluable lived experience of over 30 years. With his blessing of Insight Understanding, Knowledge, and Wisdom, he is passionately equipping and empowering at risk youth and others guiding them alongside their journey to change. Experienced in substance abuse, gangs, and criminality, 12 step recovery, Cognitive behavior therapy, group facilitation, and working with youth, Ceasar uses that experience to help individuals become safe healthy and whole. As a result, we have productive, contributing members re-entering our community and we are stronger. As a child God, Husband, and Father, his goal is to be a beacon of light, hope, and having an everlasting impact in the lives of those around him, exemplifying that change is possible. 

Geri Meyers
Credible Messenger, Re-Entry TAY Mentor
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Credible Messenger, Re-Entry TAY Mentor
Geri Meyers

Geri Meyers is a Re-Entry TAY Mentor at Central Juvenile Hall for ARC Inside Programs. As a former life prisoner with a 40 years-to-life sentence, her sentenced was commuted to 15 years-to-life on December 24, 2018. While serving her time, she became a Beyond Violence Mentor/Facilitator. The curriculum consisted of domestic violence, anger management, assertive communication, adverse childhood experiences, process of trauma, decision making to ensure nonviolence, healthy, and constructive choices.

Upon her parole in 2020, she continued her journey of being a part of the solution in her community/society by mentoring others that transformation comes from awareness, healing, and forgiveness. As a certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor, she incorporates fitness from the inside out which encompasses mental and physical health to help improve quality of life. Prior to becoming a Re-Entry TAY Mentor, she was Client Aide at Christ Centered Ministries, being of service to women who were vulnerable with mental health challenges

Her mantra is the Serenity Prayer (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…) She often refers to it when she mentors the youth and others. She encourages empowerment that you can break the cycle of being in the Criminal Involved System through healing and transformation regardless of your past and your family dynamics.

Learning & Innovation

Kacy Martin
Associate Director of Learning and Innovation
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Associate Director of Learning and Innovation
Kacy Martin

Kacy Martin is the Associate Director of Learning and Innovation. Prior to joining ARC, Dr. Martin was a Fellow at the Harvard Strategic Data Project and a Research Associate at the UCLA Civil Rights Project. Her research investigated the school-to-prison pipeline and educational programming within California’s juvenile justice facilities. She served on the faculty at the USC Price School of Public Policy, teaching courses in Statistical Methods for Policy Analysis, and completed a Fellowship in the Behavioral Sciences at the RAND Corporation. Before her career as a researcher, Kacy was a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Kacy holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from Michigan State University and M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Michigan.

I am inspired by the power of research to change hearts, minds, and policy.

De’Andra Kohl
Data Specialist
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Data Specialist
De’Andra Kohl

De’Andra Kohl is our Data Specialist at Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), with a Bachelor’s in Science for System Operations Management complemented by a minor in Information Systems from CSUN in 2023. In addition, obtained two associate degrees, one in accounting and another in business administration, in 2021. De’Andra possesses a strong foundation in both theoretical concepts and practical applications in the realm of data management.

Driven by a desire to make a tangible impact on society, she is committed to leveraging data-driven insights to further ARC’s mission of ending mass incarceration. By harnessing the power of data analytics and innovative technologies, she aims to revolutionize approaches to criminal justice reform and contribute to building a more equitable future.

Beyond the confines of data analysis, she finds enjoyment and inspiration from the great outdoors. Whether it’s hiking through scenic trails or simply enjoying quality time with family and friends, she cherishes moments of connection and rejuvenation outside of work.

AJ Soriano
Data Coordinator
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Data Coordinator
AJ Soriano

Herman Soriano (AJ) currently employed as a Data Coordinator with ARC. Born, and raised in Koreatown, Los Angeles California. He is a self taught motivated, teamwork-oriented, and responsible Data Specialist with significant experience in increasing comprehension of reports. Working with large sets of data, inputting data to reflect backend pos systems, and data orientated softwares, with a current goal of being a Data Analyst, and long term goal of becoming a Data Scientist.Outside of work, his hobbies consist of various fitness activities such as boxing, and physical training.

Member Services

Ellen Goldwasser
Director of Programs
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Director of Programs
Ellen Goldwasser

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.

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.”

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!

Anthony Logan
Member Events Manager
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Member Events Manager
Anthony Logan

Anthony Logan currently works for ARC as the event coordinator. He was incarcerated for 13 years. He is from Los Angeles and attended school in Culver City and then off to Upland, CA. After his senior year, he was arrested at the age of 18 and returned home in February, 2022 at the age of 32. Upon his release, he got certified in multiple things. Along this short journey home, he’s realized he is very capable and great at helping people with their transitions home and things in their day-to-day lives. He continues to work with the community, helping with prison reform and re-entry.

Robert Chavez
Senior Life Coach
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Senior 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.

 

Pamela Thompson
Senior Life Coach
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Senior 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.

Freddrick Thomas
LA Life Coach
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LA Life Coach
Freddrick Thomas

Freddrick was originally born in Portland, Oregon, and moved to Los Angeles when he was 9. His dedication to helping the system-impacted population stemmed from his father being incarcerated for the vast majority of their life. He is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of individuals who seek support in his community.

Elanee Jarrett
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Elanee Jarrett

I’m Elanee Jarrett, ARC Life Coach based in LA. My journey has been one of incredible transformation. After serving a 10-year sentence in state prison, I was released in August 2022. Since then, I’ve not only rebuilt my life but also found an amazing family. ARC played a crucial role in my journey, helping me beat the odds and reintegrate into society. Now, I’m passionate about using my experiences to support others like me. As a life coach, I’m dedicated to guiding individuals towards positive change and helping them rewrite their stories. Together, let’s embark on a journey of transformation and empowerment.

Cynthia Wong Vasquez
LA Life Coach
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LA Life Coach
Cynthia Wong Vasquez

I was born and raised in South LA and witnessed the ongoing systemic issues within the inner city population. I started working in the Probation Halls and Camps 10 years ago and witnessed the living conditions and lack of positive resources for the youth. This led me to want to find resources and solutions. I have worked with GRYD and committed to helping youth transition from gang life to a more proactive and productive way of life. Being directly impacted by mass incarceration has fueled my passion towards assisting others and always advocating.

The internal wish to grow beyond what I am.

Sacramento

Joseph Osorio
Associate Director Of ARC, Northern Region
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Associate Director Of ARC, Northern Region
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.

Junior Vargas
Program Manager
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Program Manager
Junior Vargas

My name is Junior Vargas, and I have been working for ARC as the Admin & development coordinator for a year now. I am a student, currently working toward attaining a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development. I was introduced to ARC in 2015 and the organization has changed my life for the better. Many people from this organization have supported and been there with me through my transition. With that being said, I am here as a vessel to do the same for others.

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.”

Tyson Nguyen
Life Coach
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Life Coach
Tyson Nguyen

My name is Son Thai Nguyen, and I go by Tyson. I’m a Sacramento Native striving to become a productive and sincere member of society after being incarcerated for over a decade. I now want to inspire positive change in my community and lead by example. While in prison, I took my rehabilitation very seriously. My passion for change led to me earning an A.A Degree in Social Science. I also completed the CALPIA Healthcare Facilities Maintenance (HFM) program, becoming a CALFIRE Wildland Firefighter. Through many self-help groups, I gained a complete understanding of how important life is, and to leave this Earth better than we found it. “Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi.” A few months after being released from prison, I completed the Career Readiness Workshop which started my journey with ARC. Through California Justice Leaders, I have also been able to advocate and lobby for prison reform. I have now been hired as a full-time Credible Messenger for Pine Grove. I am extremely passionate about this new endeavor and motivated to help the incarcerated youth.

Pinegrove Credible Messengers

Tremaine Amos
Reentry Specialist
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Reentry Specialist
Tremaine Amos

Tremaine, a resilient and inspiring individual who grew up in a marginalized community. Despite the challenges he faced, Tremaine was determined to succeed and worked hard to make a better life for himself. However, life took an unexpected turn and he found himself incarcerated for 13 years.

During his time in prison, Tremaine took advantage of every opportunity available to him. He participated in self-reflection exercises, attended multiple cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups, and obtained an AA in Behavioral Science. These experiences helped Tremaine gain a deeper understanding of himself and the world around him and gave him the tools he needed to make positive changes in his life.

Now that he’s been released, Tremaine is excited to give back to his community by joining the ARC and DJJ team. He wants to use his experiences to help others who may be going through similar struggles and to show them that with hard work, determination, and the right support, they too can overcome adversity and achieve their goals.

Isaiah Battle
Credible Messenger
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Credible Messenger
Isaiah Battle

Before joining ARC, Isaiah worked with high risk youth to not reoffend and provide them with the tools needed for them to be successful.

Isaiah was born and raised in Stockton, CA affected by the gang culture and crime that later sent him into the system at a young age of 12 to 23 years old. He started to development and invest back in to his community, he became involved in making his wrongs into rights while understanding that he had a voice for people whose voice’s was never heard and became apart of ANTI-RECIDIVISM COALITION as a DJJ life coach, bringing his experiences into his position with ARC.

On his personal time Isaiah works with at risk youth in Stockton to empower them to use there voice to create change.

Women’s Department

Aaliyah Evans
Women's Department Coordinator
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Women's Department Coordinator
Aaliyah Evans

Born and raised in Washington state, Aaliyah relocated to Los Angeles a few years ago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State LA and channels her passion for criminal justice reform into meaningful action. While her ultimate goal is to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, her current focus is on supporting and advocating for individuals impacted by the justice system. Drawing from personal experiences with close family members who have walked similar paths, she is driven by a profound sense of empathy and purpose.

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
Site Manager (ELAOC)
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Site Manager (ELAOC)
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.

 

Vicente Sanchez
Site Manager (San Bernardino)
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Site Manager (San Bernardino)
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.”

Cecilia Bachmann
Emerging Adult TAY Workforce & Education Coordinator
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Emerging Adult TAY Workforce & Education Coordinator
Cecilia Bachmann

Cecilia grew up in Germany and came to the United States in 2015. Being a justice-involved youth herself, she found community through the Rising Scholars Network and has since been advocating for educational access for formerly incarcerated and system-impacted individuals. She decided to attend Pasadena City College after being a multiple dropout and transferred to UC Berkeley in 2021. She earned a BA in Linguistics with a minor in Applied Language Studies. Prior, she was the program lead for the Prison Education Project at PCC and served as the Community Engagement Leader for the Community Over Recidivism Through Education (CORE) program. She has taught a variety of courses within correctional facilities and juvenile centers.  

Cesar Zuniga
Workforce & Education Development Coordinator
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Workforce & Education Development Coordinator
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.”

Tatiana Melendez
Employment Retention & Mobility Specialist
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Employment Retention & Mobility Specialist
Tatiana Melendez

Born and raised in Los Angeles, they are passionate about helping others and providing the support needed to achieve their goals. Graduating from CSULA with a degree in Psychology, they embarked on a career in the non-profit sector. With experience as a Case Manager, they have facilitated connections for the underserved population to access jobs, training, and necessary resources for stability. Their enthusiasm for ARC’s advocacy and commitment to assisting those impacted by the justice system is palpable. Witnessing firsthand how incarceration affects their community and loved ones, they are eager to contribute to a space dedicated to offering second chances to the formerly incarcerated.

Youth Development Programs

Madeline Williams
Associate Director of Youth Development Programs
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Associate Director of Youth Development Programs
Madeline Williams

Madeline Williams has been the Associate Director, Youth Development Programs for Anti Recidivism Coalition since July 2023. Madeline most recently served as the Director of Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap (BTG), which provides supportive services to youth aged 18 through 26 as they transitioned out of the child welfare system. Madeline has worked with youth in multiple capacities for over 25 years and approaches services through a positive youth development mindset. Madeline sustains partnerships with community organizations to obtain resources that maximize the ability to develop strategies and implement goals.

Madeline is a native of Colorado and graduated from Denver East High School. One fun fact is that she was inducted into the inaugural East High School Hall of Fame for Track and Field. Upon graduation from CU, she coached track and field for 2 year at Montbello High School and Denver East High School. Madeline graduated from the University Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BAS) in Psychology. Madeline earned courses toward a doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University in Higher Education and Leadership. She plans to return in the near future to complete the degree. Madeline holds a Master of Art in Higher Education and Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising from Regis University. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Art in Psychology.

What inspires me is when youth obtain credentials to improve their lives and individuals that dedicate their lives to making the world a better place for all.

David Barclay
TAY Life Coach
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TAY 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!

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