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

Monday, August 31, 2020 -
1:00pm to 2:15pm PDT
Zoom Meeting
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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.


Eunisses Hernandez, Executive Director, La Defensa

Eunisses Hernandez is a policy advocate and campaign strategist with over five 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 Justice LA 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.

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 Bachelor's 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. 

Targeted Audience 

This program is open to current NCG, SCG, and CCJFG members and eligible non-members.



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