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CARESCall March 19, 2019: “ARC” has great resources. Learn how your loved one can be involved, & hear about new bills they’re working on!

Monday, March 18th, 2019


Left to Right: Esteban Nuñez, April Grayson, and Aldo Romero.

On the next CARESCall, you will hear from three dedicated members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) team. We’ll begin our discussion with Esteban Nuñez, ARC’s Sacramento coordinator, who will walk us through the bills they hope to pass this year. Later, we’ll hear from ARC life coaches, April Grayson and Aldo Romero, who will describe ARC’s approach to planning for success on the outside. They will also talk about how ARC members can become involved with policy work in Sacramento and elsewhere. You will hear about ARC’s resources for parole planning, parole hearings, and re-entry. Listen in to learn how to become involved with ARC, or just get advice from their life coaches about how to support your loved ones inside and out of prison. This is going to be another great CARESCall!

If you have a loved one who is preparing for parole or recently released from prison and in need of advice or services, this is a CARESCall that you do not want to miss.

CARESCall
This Tuesday,
March 19, 2019,
8:00 PM
Esteban Nuñez, April Grayson, and Aldo Romero
Anti-Recidivism Coalition
All are welcome!
Call: (515) 604-9384
Code: 313882#

Yours,
Dennis Flynn, CARES for Youth
Elizabeth Calvin, Human Rights Watch
___________________

More about our CARESCall panelists

About the Anti-Recidivism Coalition
The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) is a support network for, and comprised of, formerly incarcerated individuals devoted to changing their lives by becoming leaders in their communities. ARC accomplishes its goals by providing job training, and connecting its members to employment, housing and educational opportunities in order to help them acquire the social capital and skills necessary to support themselves and their families. ARC began as an annual camping trip bringing together a few dozen formerly incarcerated young people with positive mentors to offer encouragement, guidance, and resources. Today, ARC has grown into a support and advocacy network of hundreds of members, and hundreds more volunteer mentors and allies, committed to helping one another through reentry and advocating for a just criminal justice system. 

Esteban Nuñez
ARC Sacramento Coordinator

Esteban Nuñez spent six years incarcerated in California prisons. His childhood  was marked by loss and difficult family issues, and as a teen he sought support from the wrong places. Surrounding himself with misguided friends and risky environments, he ultimately committed a serious crime. Nuñez used the time he was locked up to examine his life, think deeply about the things that led to his crime, and confront the ways he had hurt others. He chose a new path, one committed to a greater purpose and service to others. His priorities now are a deep spiritual life, higher education, and work in service to the community.

Upon release, Nuñez helped open ARC’s Sacramento office, where he is now employed. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in humanities and engineering. His greatest joy in life is helping others. He hopes to help deepen understanding of the human condition, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption.

April Grayson
Life Coach
April Grayson is a life coach for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Sacramento. She brings special knowledge about how justice systems harm youth and women in particular. 

Grayson was 19 years old when she entered prison, and spent 17 consecutive years locked up. Her experience gave her a clear understanding of the hardships people go through in prison. Turning her own life around, she committed to becoming a voice on the outside for incarcerated women. Grayson visits institutions to inspire and empower people inside with hope of a better life. She is a dedicated fighter for the dignity of incarcerated women, and works to change laws to ensures women are given opportunities to succeed.

Aldo Romero
Life Coach

Aldo Romero is a life coach at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Sacramento. There Romero teaches Transformative Mentoring practices to youth  incarcerated at the Sacramento Youth Facility, and life skills to individuals at the Sacramento County Jail. Romero helps men and women transition back into society in a thoughtful way,  building their self-sufficiency. He teaches a wide range of skills, including: fiscal responsibility, credit building, emotional regulation, and shopping skills. He also assists individuals in building technological skills and prepares them for future apartment searches. Romero’s love for this type of work comes from having served 18 years in prison, and he believes that ARC allows him to best serve those in need of a second chance.

Over 100 California Law Profs Sign Letter Agreeing SB 1391 is Constitutional

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Over 100 legal scholars from 18 law schools across California signed a letter supporting the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1391 – a new California law that prevents children below the age of 16 from being prosecuted or sentenced within the adult criminal system. Read the letter here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARESCall February 19, 2019: The head of California’s parole board speaks to families & friends of youth sentenced to prison. Join us to get important updates!

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Join our next CARESCall tonight, February 19th, when we welcome Jennifer Shaffer, executive officer of the Board of Parole Hearings. She will give us an update on everything to do with the Board’s work, the parole process, and related policies. This is a great chance to hear from – and ask questions of – the top leader of California’s parole agency.

Ms. Shaffer will start with an overview of the parole process, and then describe important recent changes in law and how those changes may affect your loved ones. If you know someone who is preparing for any type of parole hearing, falls under “three-strikes” laws, has petitioned for resentencing under SB 1437, or was granted a commutation hearing, you don’t want to miss this CARESCall! If you couldn’t make this call, you can listen to it by clicking on this link.

As always, we will leave plenty of time after her presentation for questions.

CARESCall
This Tuesday,
February 19, 2019, 8:00 pm
Jennifer Shaffer, Executive Officer,
Board of Parole Hearings
All are welcome!

Call: (515) 604-9384
Code: 313882#

We’re hoping you can join us for what is sure to be an important discussion!

More about our CARESCall panelist, Jennifer Shaffer

Ms. Shaffer was appointed executive officer of BPH by Governor Brown in 2011. Since then she has overseen daily operations and the implementation of many important programs and changes related to the parole process in California, including Youth Offender Parole, SB 394, and Proposition 57.

Learn more about her background here. Read this article to get a sense of Ms. Shaffer’s perspective:  More California inmates are getting a second chance as parole board enters new era of discretion

CARESCall February 5, 2019: Learn about Root & Rebound reentry services, and their work for prison-impacted women in the Central Valley!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Did you miss our CARESCall on February 5? We welcomed Root & Rebound’s KC Taylor, associate director, Southern & Central California programs and litigation, and Felicia Espinosa, Fresno site director and staff attorney, to the CARESCall for an informative discussion of the wide range of services offered by Root & Rebound and an introduction to a holistic approach to legal services and reentry for women. Root & Rebound is an organization dedicated to the success of people coming home from prison. It seeks to educate, empower, and support people who are in reentry or preparing for release, and it also helps those who support people coming home.

Felicia Espinosa.

On this CARESCall, you learn about Root & Rebound’s holistic approach to wraparound services. This is available to prison-impacted women in the Fresno area.

K.C. Taylor.

Root & Rebound’s Fresno office serves women in reentry to help them navigate the systems and structures that create unnecessary barriers to opportunity. A reentry attorney, a case manager, and an employment coach work to empower women and their families by creating pathways to employment and financial stability.

The services & support include:

  • Counseling and Social Service Support
  • Employment Support and Leadership Coaching
  • Legal Advocacy

This Root & Rebound initiative addresses the need for reentry and criminal justice investments targeted to meet the specific needs of women.

Listen to the recording by clicking on this link.

CARESCall
This Tuesday,
February 5, 2019, 8:00 pm
Felicia Espinosa and K.C. Taylor of
Root and Rebound
All are welcome!
Call: (515) 604-9384    
Code: 313882#

We’re hoping you can join us for what is sure to be a powerful discussion!

___________________

More about our CARESCall panelists:

Felicia Espinosa

Fresno Site Director and Staff Attorney

Ms. Espinosa is the Fresno Reentry Women & Employment Initiative Site Director and Staff Attorney. She received her J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law in 2009. Prior to joining Root  Rebound, Ms. Espinosa worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fresno. In addition to her legal work, Ms. Espinosa has taught courses in the Women’s Studies Department at Fresno State.

While attending law school, Ms. Espinosa worked with death row inmates at the State Public Defender’s Office, and in Houston at the Texas Defender Service through the Keta Taylor Colby Death Row Project. She also represented individuals charged with misdemeanors at USF’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic and the Public Defender’s Offices in Alameda and Fresno County. Outside of work, Ms. Espinosa also serves her community by sitting on the Board of Directors for Fresno Barrios Unidos (FBU) and does pro bono work with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), handling asylum cases for unaccompanied children.

K.C. Taylor

Associate Director, Southern & Central California Programs and Litigation

Ms. Taylor is an attorney and the Associate Director of Southern & Central California Programs and Litigation at Root & Rebound. She received her J.D. in 2011 from University of San Francisco School of Law (USF). While at USF, Ms. Taylor worked with death row inmates at the Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, represented individuals facing criminal prosecution with USF’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic, and advocated for the abolishment of California’s death penalty with the ACLU of Northern California as a death penalty policy intern.

Following law school, Ms. Taylor worked as a fellow with the Mississippi Innocence Project and focused on exposing forensic fraud in Mississippi’s criminal justice system. She also worked as a staff attorney on the Criminal Central Staff at the California Supreme Court. Prior to joining Root & Rebound, Ms. Taylor was a state-appointed criminal defense attorney, representing individuals in their criminal appeals. She is looking forward to arguing one of her cases before the California Supreme Court within the next year.

CARESCall January 15, 2019: Wondering how to take advantage of the new felony murder law? Join us for an update on SB 1437 with a panel of attorneys.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Senate Bill 1437 went into effect on January 1st, making sweeping changes related to the felony murder rule, and resentencing petitions are starting to appear in county courthouses throughout California. When we get together for our next CARESCall, SB 1437 will have been in effect for just 15 days, and we will have a lot of new information to share.

When a new law is being used for the first time, many things end up being in flux. Judges, attorneys, and courts staff can struggle to figure out their roles and responsibilities, and it is not uncommon for implementation of a new law to vary to some degree from county to county. As a result, everyone has questions.

Our next CARESCall will have answers. We are happy to present a panel of attorneys who will discuss the new law and answer your questions.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 15th at 8 pm when we welcome Kellie Byward, Serena Salinas, and Jacque Wilson to the CARESCall. If you have a loved one inside who was convicted under the felony murder rule and who you think may qualify for resentencing under the new law, this is a CARESCall that you don’t want to miss!

CARESCall
This Tuesday,
January 15, 2019,
8:00 pm
Senate Bill 1437 Update by
Attorneys 
Kellie Byward, Serena Salinas, and Jacque Wilson
All are welcome!
Call: (515) 604-9384    
Code: 313882#

We’re hoping you can join us for what is sure to be an enlightening panel discussion!

CARESCall, Tuesday December 18th: Learn from Mike Nelson about resources for healing for people in prison and out.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Dear Friends and Families:

Please join our next CARESCall on Tuesday, December 18th, at 8pm, as we welcome Mike Nelson, a co-founder of San Quentin’s effective and dynamic lifer group, “Kid C.A.T” and now a  wellness educator at the Ahimsa Collective.  Mr. Nelson will discuss the transformative work being done with prisoners, their families, and others on the outside to heal trauma and create real accountability. This call will introduce resources to help all of us and our loved ones in prison to continue on the path of healing.

Mike Nelson (5th from left) with Kid C.A.T. inside San Quentin in 2013. Now many of these members are out of prison thinks to their hard work, the support of Kid C.A.T. & Youth Offender Parole laws. Photo: The Mercury News


CARESCall
Tuesday, December 18th, 8pm
Mike Nelson, of the Ahimsa Collective
All are welcome!
Call: (515) 604-9384
Code: 313882#

 

More about the Ahimsa Collective:

Restorative Approaches to Intimate Violence
In Prison:  This 12- to 15- month program utilizes restorative justice practices to explore participants’ relationships to intimate violence – which includes family abuse, sexual violence and domestic violence.

For Survivors: This is an opportunity to have one-on-one conversations, connect to resources, and share survivor stories with in-prison groups. This also provides an opening to participate in a victim-offender dialogue process.

Community Circles
Community Circles helps build communities as people work through conflict or harm in families, universities, organizations, community groups, and places of spiritual worship.

Kid C.A.T. (Creating Awareness Together)
Founded by a group of men who have committed crimes as youth and were sentenced to life terms. Kid C.A.T.’s mission is to inspire humanity through education, mentorship, and restorative practices.

Victim Offender Dialogues
This impactful restorative justice model uses face-to-face meetings between the person who was harmed and the person responsible for the harm.

Trauma Education for Law Enforcement and System Professionals
The group offers trauma training for law enforcement and systems professionals, in collaboration with the Transformational Prison Project. People working in law enforcement are provided the tools to process their trauma, so officers are less likely to lose flexibility and their humanity on the job and at home.
_______________________________

More about our CARESCall presenter, Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson was introduced to restorative justice work in 2008 while participating in the Victim Offender Education Group in prison. As someone who committed his crime at the age of 15, Nelson connected early on with his responsibility to hold himself accountable for his choices. He actively contributes to the healing capacity to the communities of people around him. Today, utilizes his capacity to represent those who are currently incarcerated, particularly those who identify as youth offenders. Among other things, he is helping to initiate the Kid C.A.T. model in other prisons. As a co-founder of the Kid C.A.T. program, and imagined the concept behind the Acting with Compassion and Truth program, which supports of the exploration of identity, gender, and sexuality, Nelson is committed to one’s search of the self. 

HELP OUR COMMUNITY WITH HOLIDAY CHEER AND HEALING!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Donate to the CARES Holiday Project: Gifts for murder victim family members

The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and happiness, but missing the presence of a loved one can mean that the holidays are  hard. Those who have lost loved ones to violence have another layer of pain to their loss.

For the sixth year in a row the CARES Holiday Project is raising money to provide gifts to murder victim families. When you participate, you let families who have suffered the unimaginable know that you are thinking of them.

The Men of Honor inmate-led group at Lancaster prison is joining us to fundraise once again, and we have already begun to get checks from people inside: Some send just a couple dollars, others send more. The thought is what counts.

Every year, the families that receive CARES gift cards are deeply appreciative: The gift helps provide a little extra for a good meal or something special for their children and loved ones. The families are especially moved that the people giving are family and friends of those in prison and people in prison themselves.

Last year, CARES provided gift cards to 80 families. Help us surpass that number this year!

We are a community of compassionate people, and this project is a direct way to act on compassion. Please consider donating any amount (no amount is too small!)

We can’t do this without your help. Please join us and send your donation to:
HRW CARES Victim Holiday Gifts
11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Ste. 608
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Please make checks out to either Elizabeth Calvin, or Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch if you want it to be a nonprofit donation) with the memo line: “CARES Victim Family Gifts.” Please indicate if you would like a tax-deductible receipt.

Thank you for your continued support!

Senate Bill 1391 signed by Governor Brown!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Senate Bill 1391 was signed by Governor Brown on September 30, ending California’s prosecution of 14- and 15-year-olds in the adult court system. This means that youth under the age of 16 will no longer be tried as adults. This is an incredible win for juvenile justice and for our communities.

 

 

Urgent action needed: Call Governor Brown and ask him to sign SB 1391!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Governor Brown needs to hear from people like YOU! Please take one minute out of your day, and call the his office. Ask him to sign SB 1391, the bill that would stop the transfer of 14- and 15-year-olds to the adult criminal system.

Call Governor Brown’s office:
(916) 445-2841

Something like this is all you’ll have to say:
“Hello, my name is __________.  I ask that the Governor sign SB 1391 into law.  I believe that 14- and 15-year-olds should be kept in the juvenile system.”

That’s it! (They may ask for your address.)

If you believe 14- and 15-year-olds should be kept in the juvenile system, please spread the word with family, friends, and colleagues. Ask them to make a phone call, too. Help us get SB 1391 signed into law!

Senate Bill 1391 heads to Governor’s desk!

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Senate Bill 1391, which would stop California from transferring 14- and 15-year-olds to the adult court system, passed out of the Senate after a concurrence vote on August 30th. The bill is now headed to Governor Brown’s desk for his signature. Head on over to this page, and take action by writing a letter to the Governor, and ask him to sign SB 1391. Learn more about the bill here.