Governor Newsom Names Leading Criminal Justice and Public Safety Experts to San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council

SACRAMENTO — Harnessing the expertise of distinguished criminal justice, public safety, and rehabilitation professionals, along with justice-impacted individuals, representatives of crime victims, and survivors, today Governor Gavin Newsom announced the members of the San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is 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 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).

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “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. 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 members of the Advisory Council 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
  • Ayanna Lalia Kiburi, Deputy Director, California Arts Council
  • 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
  • Jesse Vasquez, Executive Director, Pollen Initiative

Additionally, the Council includes Co-Chairs Dr. Brie Williams, San Quentin Warden Ronald Broomfield, and Amity President and CEO Doug Bond. They will be joined by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who has been named the Governor’s Lead Adviser on this effort. In his role as Lead Adviser, Steinberg will serve as the main liaison between the Advisory Council and the Governor’s Office.

The historic effort at San Quentin, never pursued at this scale in the United States, 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.

Since taking office, Governor Newsom has taken nation-leading action to strengthen public safety through justice reforms and innovation: He placed a moratorium on the death penalty, bolstered support for victims and survivors of crime, ended the state’s use of private for-profit prisons, took action to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, announced sweeping reforms to end juvenile imprisonmentadvanced jury representationexpanded the number of Board of Parole commissioners, signed legislation to build trust between communities and law enforcement, and announced record-level funding to bolster public safety, including through the Real Public Safety plan.

For more information about San Quentin’s transformation and the Advisory Council, click here.