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Funder Update: The Alternatives to Incarceration Care First Model and Vision

Monday, August 31, 2020
1:00pm - 2:15pm PDT
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This year presents a historic opportunity to fundamentally reimagine justice in Los Angeles County. Years of deep organizing and several recent motions by the LA County Board of Supervisors have laid the groundwork for real transformation. In March of this year, the county’s Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group finalized a report that synthesizes recommendations from community and county leaders, prioritizing care first and jails last rooted in a racial equity framework. The vision and strategies laid out in this report have only become more urgent and relevant in light of the coronavirus pandemic and public demands to defund police. 

Join us to learn about the report’s recommendations, the long-term community organizing that made recent wins possible, and opportunities for philanthropy to support catalytic change and build up systems of care in LA County.



Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson

Founder — Frontline Wellness Network

As a licensed acupuncturist and an experienced organizer, Mark-Anthony Johnson served as the Director of Health and Wellness at Dignity and Power Now. In this capacity, he provided strategic support for DPN’s two member-led campaigns for a legally empowered and independent civilian oversight commission of the sheriff’s department and to stop Los Angeles’ proposed $4 billion jail construction plan. He also led the Building Resilience project of DPN, a collaboration of formerly incarcerated people, organizers, health care providers and academics whose goal is to decarcerate the county jails via the diversion of incarcerated people into community-based treatment and the creation of community-based spaces to address the trauma of state violence. As a 2017 Soros Justice Fellow, Johnson founded the Frontline Wellness Network, a network of health care providers working to end the public health crisis of incarceration through action-oriented political education and bridging relationships between providers and grassroots campaigns against state violence. The FWN is a member of the executive team of the JusticeLA, a Los Angeles based coalition that has successfully stopped the County from spending billions on mental health jails while reallocating those funds to community based treatment.


Eunisses Hernandez

Executive Director — La Defensa

Eunisses Hernandez is a policy advocate and campaign strategist with over 5 years of experience in working with local and state legislators, system actors, and communities most devastated by criminalization, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. As a native of Los Angeles, the daughter of immigrants, and loved one of people with mental health needs and substance use disorders, Hernandez knows the detrimental impacts that criminalization has on immigrants and communities of color.

These experiences inform Hernandez's analysis and policy development. Hernandez has been a leader in helping develop and implement sentencing reforms and sentence enhancement abolition policies. Hernandez 's efforts have led to the repeal and reform some of the most devastating tough on crime policies in California. Most recently, Hernandez has been a leader in the JusticeLA jail fight that stopped a $3.5 billion dollar jail plan in Los Angeles County. Hernandez has extensive experience in developing and implementing alternatives to incarceration. Most recently, she was appointed as a voting member to the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group and Co-chair of the Community Based System of Care AD HOC.

Hernandez is an alum of the Women’s Policy Institute Local Government and State Policy fellowship programs. In 2017, Hernandez was named one of the 40 Under 40 Emerging Civic Leaders by the Empowerment Congress and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas. Hernandez holds a BA in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach and currently resides in Los Angeles.


Herbert K. Hatanaka, DSW

Executive Director — Special Service for Groups

Dr. Herbert K. Hatanaka has been the Executive Director of Special Service for Groups, Inc. in Los Angeles since 1984. SSG is a large private non-profit, multi-service, multi-ethnic health and human service agency that has served the community since 1952. 

During his administration at SSG, the agency has grown more than ten-fold in scope and size - acclaimed for its diverse programming, development and leadership of collaborative projects, and technical assistance to emerging community-based organizations. SSG is recognized as one of the most effective community providers in the areas of behavioral mental health, forensic services (justice involved) and homelessness.  Dr. Hatanaka is the creator of SSG’s current organizational structure that incorporates a flexible, sprawling complex of provider sites throughout Los Angeles and surrounding counties; including special initiatives in areas such as San Francisco.  He recently completed his term as Chair for the A3PCON Mental Health Committee, a group he has been active with since before 1990.  He is a current appointee of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the 25-member Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Work Group and continues as intermittent adjunct professor at the USC School of Social Work.

Dr. Hatanaka, together with his wife Kathy have 3 children, 3 grandchildren and are avid sports enthusiasts including marathons (pre-COVID) and tuna fishing off the California coast.


Tamu Jones

Managing Director: Justice Reinvestment and Los Angeles Region — The California Endowment

Tamu F. Jones joined The California Endowment in 2011. She is Managing Director: Justice Reinvestment and Los Angeles Region responsible for advancing regional and statewide strategies that promote a new vision of community safety that is centered on redirecting resources from punishment to prevention and increasing investment in the health and wellbeing of all Californians. Prior to her current role on TCE’s statewide justice team, she managed the South Los Angeles site of The Endowment’s 10-year place-based initiative, Building Healthy Communities, which aims to promote health equity throughout California by supporting grassroots power-building and policy and systems change.

Before joining The California Endowment, Jones was a program officer for the California Community Foundation where she directed and managed the foundation’s health care portfolio which focused on increasing health care access for medically underserved populations.

Prior to her career in philanthropy, Jones managed community-based public health programs for the City of Pasadena Public Health Department and Contra Costa County Health Services Department addressing issues such as violence prevention, primary health care access, food justice and tobacco use prevention policy.

She earned her B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Public Health and a Master of Business Administration from The Johns Hopkins University.


Robert K. Ross, MD

President & CEO — The California Endowment

Robert K. Ross is the President and CEO of The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as Director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000. Dr. Ross is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Co-Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as Chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative and was honored by the Council on Foundations as the Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year for 2008. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


Diana Zúñiga

Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group Staff Lead — Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

Diana Zúñiga (she/her/hers) is a health and justice expert, community organizer, and policy advocate with over 10 years of professional work experience in group facilitation, coalition building, campaign management, leadership development, and political strategy. Diana is currently working with the Department of Health Services as the Associate Director of Regional Collaboration for the Whole Person Care Initiative. Diana recently led The Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group which provided the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors a Road Map, with an action-oriented framework and implementation plan, to scale alternatives to incarceration and diversion so care and services are provided first, and jail is the last resort. The final report, Care First, Jails Last: Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities, was developed by a broad range of community and county stakeholders through a year-long public process that focused on consensus-building, community engagement, and racial equity. Through both roles, Diana has worked to engage thousands of people, especially those most impacted by the incarceration system to participate in systemic transformation, develop and implement policy, lead community engagement efforts, and navigate service delivery. Her leadership skills were developed through her work in the community with the Latino Voters LeagueDrug Policy Alliance, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget. Diana is a Board Member for Cage-Free RepairInitiate Justice, and the John M. Lloyd Foundation. Diana holds a Bachelors in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies with a minor in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Diana also identifies as a healer that works with indigenous spiritual practices that bring in plant, dream, and energetic medicine. 


Presented in partnership with:





SCG, NCG, SCG, and CCJFG members: $0
Eligible-Non Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, SCG, and CCJFG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online
CCJFG members: Please contact Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected] to register.
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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