From “Lifer” to Community Member: Making It Work


Tuesday, August 20, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Session Type: Workshop

In California, three-strike and mandatory minimum sentences led to a significant population of inmates serving life sentences. With recent reforms, many of these long-term offenders are being released to community supervision and have needs that must be addressed. A Parolee Service Center has been established in San Francisco that offers a blend of behavior change treatment, including life skills, substance abuse and cognitive behavioral therapy, supported by evidence-based practices. Employment and programs along with parole oversight are helping to successfully reintegrate these individuals into the local community. Called the Long-term Offenders Program, this curriculum includes funding and oversight from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in partnership with Pit Stop, a San Francisco Public Works program, and a residential reentry center program where participants live and receive treatment and training. The program is very active in local volunteer activities such as working with the city on cleaning events and mentoring youth in the inner city. The program and the extremely low recidivism rate it seem to promote are getting excellent reviews.


Artie Gilbert
Program Manager, Hunterspoint Family

A convicted felon, Artie Gilbert is program director of the San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Muni Program for Hunters Point Family. Gilbert was released from Solano State Prison in Vacaville after serving 26 years for a first-degree murder sentence. He resided at the Taylor Street Reentry Service Center transitional housing program before starting working with the nonprofit organization Pit Stop, and working his way to his current position

Rhoderick Reyes
Parole Agent II, Supervisor, CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Rhod brings more than 25 years of experience working in and with government agencies primarily in the corrections industry. Prior to joining the San Francisco Parole Division, he served in the United States Marine Corps, earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sacramento State University, and worked as a Probation Assistant with the Sacramento County Probation Department, Youth Counselor with the California Youth Authority, and a Juvenile Probation Officer with the San Francisco County Probation Department. Since 2002, he has worked with various parole units, supervised high-risk sex offenders, managed a mental health caseload, and served as a Court and San Francisco Police liaison. Today, he is assigned to the San Francisco Unit #1, Lifer/Long-Term Offender Unit, where he is responsible supervising parolees and agents, operations of the unit, including planning, caseload management and training. He also works with various community-based organizations, the San Francisco Parole Revocation Court and local law enforcement to establish and maintain collaborative partnerships to assist staff with their professional development and the re-integration of parolees back into their communities.

Jon Stern
Chief Deputy Regional Administrator, CA Division of Adult Parole Operations

Jon has worked extensively with the ex-offender population, with a focus on community programming. Jon was one of the architects in DAPO’s Peer Re-entry Navigator Networks program, which brings successful Long-Term Offenders to assist newly released exoffenders back in the community as well as focusing on Lifer Responsivity. Today, Jon oversees community programming, re-entry, programs, business services, Regional Training Unit, California Parole Apprehension Team, San Diego, Tri-City, and San Gabriel Valley Districts for the Southern Region.