At 16 years old J was processed through adult court, sentenced to 31 years to life, and repeatedly told that he would never get out of prison. In spite of these challenges, J earned six associate degrees with honors, co-founded a mentoring program for incarcerated young people, created curriculum for two dozen self-help workshops, facilitated multiple self-help programs, and volunteered as a staff writer for the prison newsletter. After serving 25 years, J was released but never forgot about the people he left behind.
Today, J supports families of incarcerated people to bring their loved ones home by organizing to positively impact court cases or to be resentenced. J also advocates for criminal and juvenile justice legislative policy changes through statewide coalition campaigns. His work has contributed to the passage of Senate Bill 2 which established a process to decertify police officers who commit serious misconduct, Assembly Bill 118 which created a statewide pilot program for community-based alternatives to police regarding emergency responses for non-criminal situations, Senate Bill 203 which protects Miranda rights for 16 and 17-year-olds, Proposition 17 which restored voting rights for 50,000 Californians on parole, Senate Bill 567 which ensures due process for people receiving aggravated prison terms, and the defeat of Proposition 20 which would have dramatically increased mass incarceration in California. In addition, he’s worked on campaigns to restore visiting as a right for incarcerated people (AB 990), end excessive juvenile probation terms (AB 503), increase resources for community-based juvenile justice crime prevention programs (SB 493), and abolish CDCR collaboration with ICE deportation for people who have already served their time (AB 937).
J graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Criminal Justice Studies from SFSU and was selected as the 2021 hood recipient for the College of Health & Social Sciences. J is a FICPFM Organizing Fellowship Alumnus and a Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellowship Alumnus. He served on the Justice Reinvestment Coalition Steering Committee, the Alameda County DA Accountability Workgroup, and the Raheem Advisory Council.