CNN: Those convicted of violent crimes are rarely rearrested for the same offense, report finds
At 15 years old, Michael Mendoza sat in the backseat of a car while the front-seat passenger shot and killed someone in a gang-related murder. After nearly twenty years in prison he got a second chance at life. Today he is the National Policy Director at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) in California, where he is responsible for expanding the organization’s policy priorities around criminal justice reform.
In a recent article on CNN, Mendoza and other formerly incarcerated lifers shared their experience taking accountability, healing and growing into the productive individuals they are today.
“Do I believe people can change? The simple answer is yes,” Michael Mendoza said.
“What made me change was that I never wanted to hurt a family like that again. I heard stories through the victim services programs in prison and it really woke me up to see the impact of the decision I made and being exposed to that,” Mendoza said, adding, “It was remorse, policy changing and believing in God that changed me.”
The article highlighted The Sentencing Project’s latest report that finds that we can safely release people from prison who have been convicted of violent crime much sooner than we typically do. Most people who commit homicide are unlikely to do so again and overall rates of violent offending of any type among people released from a life sentence are rare.