CA Governor Names Advisory Board for San Quentin Prison ‘Transformation’

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By The Vanguard Staff

SACRAMENTO, CA – CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced his San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council, an eclectic group of  “distinguished criminal justice, public safety, and rehabilitation professionals, along with justice-impacted individuals, representatives of crime victims, and survivors” – to transform the infamous prison into new-look facility to help people, not incarcerate them.

The Advisory Council is, according to the governor’s announcement, “tasked with assisting the administration in delivering on the Governor’s announcement to transform San Quentin State Prison by 2025 into a one-of-a-kind rehabilitation center.”

Newsom explained the new facility would be “focused on improving public safety through rehabilitation and education via a scalable ‘California Model’ that can be utilized across the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).”

“Lead advisor” to the council will be Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who will be liaison between the Advisory Council and the Governor’s Office. Steinberg is a former State Senate President Pro Tem.

Council Co-Chairs include, UC San Francisco Professor of Medicine for Vulnerable Populations Dr. Brie Williams; San Quentin Warden Ronald Broomfield, and Amity President and CEO Doug Bond.  

Other members range from the vice president of the prison guards association to the founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition to prisoners’ rights groups to a former U.S. Marine Major General.

“In order to transform San Quentin into the nation’s most innovative rehabilitation facility focused on building a brighter and safer future, we need a deep and diverse bench of expertise. That’s exactly what the members of this Advisory Council deliver,” said Newsom.

He added, “Through their time and talent, these leaders will help us build a scalable model across California that will advance justice, safer communities, and true rehabilitation.”

The governor said his plan is an “historic effort at San Quentin, never pursued at this scale in the United States…(it) will serve as a nationwide evidence-backed model to advance a more effective justice system that builds safer communities.

“Building on justice innovation efforts taking place across CDCR — including cutting-edge initiatives at Valley State, Central California Women’s Facility, Salinas Valley, and California Medical Facility — the Advisory Council will develop a robust, evidence-based vision and thoughtful implementation plan to reimagine and strengthen programming, education, and rehabilitation efforts and opportunities at San Quentin. 

“Working alongside San Francisco-based design thinking firm IDEO, and soliciting ideas and input from a wide range of experts, community stakeholders, and program providers, the Advisory Council will recommend transformational programmatic, cultural, and physical change to San Quentin that can serve as a practical model that can be replicated and scaled to other institutions.”

Other advisory board members include, Scott Budnick, Founder, Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Neil Flood, State Vice President, California Correctional Peace Officers Association; Tinisch Hollins, Executive Director, Californians for Safety and Justice; Katie James, Chief, CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services; Terah Lawyer-Harper, Executive Director, Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs; Kenyatta Leal, Executive Director, Next Chapter Project;  Jody Lewen, President, Mount Tamalpais College; Sam Lewis, Executive Director, Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Billie Mizell, Founder, Acting with Compassion and Truth; Chair Emeritus of the Insight Prison Project; Jonathan Moscone, Executive Director, California Arts Council; Dr. Mimi Silbert, President and CEO, Delancey Street; U.S. Marine Corps Major General James Michael Myatt (ret.); Dr. Alison Pachynski, Chief Medical Executive, San Quentin State Prison; Chris Redlitz, Executive Director, The Last Mile; Michael Romano, Director and Founder, Three Strikes Project at Stanford University and Jesse Vasquez, Executive Director, Pollen Initiative.

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