252: Former Prison Gang Leader Becomes Dr. Jesse De La Cruz


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Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Michael Santos may be contacted at Michael@MichaelSantos.com or by cell: 415-419-1728., Michael Santos is an advocate, Consultant. Through Earning Freedom, Michael shares strategies that empowered him through struggle, He interviews others who overcame struggle, and Went on to success. 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.

So proud to feature Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, a formerly incarcerated prisoner who emerged incredibly successfully--as a doctor of education and judicial expert. Check out his resume. Listen and watch his amazing two-part story on Earning Freedom, at MichaelSantos.com

Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

JSD Consultations P.O. Box 1993 Stockton, CA 95201 Cell: 209-423-4794 Email: jesse.delacruz588@gmail.com


Education: Ed.D: California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, CA 2014 Concentration: Gangs Dissertation: Mexican American/Chicano gang members’ voice on social control in the context of school and community: A critical ethnographic case study in Stockton, California

Masters of Social Work: California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA 2003 Concentration: Deviant behavior Thesis: An evaluation of a substance-abuse treatment program for criminal offenders Bachelors: Sociology, California State University, Turlock, CA 2001

______________________________________________________________________________ Teaching Experience: Instructor 2010–2012 Heald College Taught Courses in: Police Procedures Theory and Practice; Corrections; Juvenile Delinquency; Victimology; Introduction into Criminology; Criminology; Organized Crime, Street Gangs & Terrorism.

Teaching Assistant (TA) California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA 2011 2012


Personal Experience:

My involvement with gangs spans 50 years, beginning with my initiation into a street gang at age 13. In 1973, at age 21, I became a member of the Nuestra Familia prison gang while serving time at Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI). I left the NF once I was released from prison in 1976. After my defection from the gang, I maintained a high degree of respect from my street gang homeboys simply because I never testified against any of my former Homeboys. In the course of my criminal career and going in and out of prison for twenty-eight years, I witnessed the proliferation of gangs. Mostly, I observed all the superficial, and few substantial changes between old and modern gangs. In 1996, I was released from prison for the last time and have turned my life completely around. However, as a result of my multiple gang involvement (street and prison), and my many years in different jails and prisons throughout the state of California, Texas and Washington, I have developed a unique and thorough insight into the gang phenomena that neither law enforcement nor academics can ever achieve because they have never been on the inside of a gang or served time in jail or prison.


Academic & Professional Experience:

Since leaving prison for the last time on April 2, 1996, I have earned three University degrees and each of my degrees has been primarily the study and research of gangs. It is due to these distinct achievements, coupled with my personal experience, that I have been qualified on many occasions to testify as an expert witness.

  • In my very first case as a gang expert, I testified in Siskiyou County on a Death Penalty case involving an alleged White Supremacy gang. The gang allegations were dismissed after my testimony at preliminary hearing.
  • In October, 2013, I testified in Stanislaus County on an alleged Norteño gang murder case involving one adult and two juveniles who were prosecuted as adults. All three defendants in that case were found not guilty of gang enhancements. My client was found innocent of all charges as a direct result of my testimony.
  • I again testified in Stanislaus County in November, 2014 where a defendant had been charged with being a gang member under a gang injunction. The defendant was found not guilty as a direct result of my testimony.
  • In December, 2014, I testified on a homicide case in Stanislaus County where gang allegations were filed. The jury was unable to reach a verdict due to my testimony. The case is currently set for trial later this year (2016).
  • Recently, (January, 2015) I submitted a report on a robbery case in Marin County where the defendants had been charged with 186.22 and the gang allegation was dismissed as a result of my report.
  • I also testified in Tulare County on December 2014 on an Asian Blood gang case. All three defendants were found guilty of the gang allegation filed against them.

I have testified in:

  • Los Angeles County (2)
  • Contra Costa County (1)
  • Santa Barbara County (1)
  • Santa Clara County (4)
  • San Joaquin County (1)
  • San Mateo County (1)
  • Sacramento County (1)
  • Siskiyou County (1)
  • Stanislaus County (4)
  • Placer County (1)
  • Tulare County (2)
  • Hillsborough, Oregon (1)
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1)

I have also participated in aiding lawyers in preparation of testimony and given opinions on approximately 95 gang cases. Currently, I am working one death penalty case in Tulare County and a post conviction death case with the Habeas Corpus Resource Center in San Francisco CA. I have also worked with the Federal Public Defenders Office on a case out of Sacramento, CA on a post conviction case and two other post conviction cases in Oregon. I am also currently working on four R.I.C.O. cases and expected to testify late October or early November on one R.I.C.O. case in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Consultant & Mentor for Fathers & Families of San Joaquin: I currently work with and mentor gang members who are interested in leaving their gang. I provide the gang member guidance and resource information that will facilitate their transition from the gang lifestyle into mainstream society. On-Going

Founder of Criminals & Gang members Anonymous: A 12-Step program for gang members and criminals alike that addresses problems pertaining to gang & criminal involvement. Group membership is constantly evolving. As a result, new members bring with them a wealth of current information, which keeps me abreast of gang trends, both locally and on a state level. 1998-On-Going

Founder Of Jonah Foundation: A sober living facility that provided counseling and sustenance for ex-offenders. It was through the group counseling and rap sessions that I developed meaningful contacts with the participants, all who had just been released from prison or jail. These men were attempting to disassociate themselves from the gang/criminal lifestyle. To date, many of them continue to share with me valuable gang and other crimino-genic trends. 2006-2008

Program Director of a Day Reporting Center: In 2008, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation awarded BI, Inc. a contract to operate a facility targeting high-risk offenders. The intent of this program was to alter the behavior of the offender by using evidence-based practices. I was the day-to-day operations manager in charge of insuring that the safety and security of my employees, and the clients, was assured. In the process of my daily interactions with clients who were just recently released from California State Prison and out of state prisons as well, I was fortunate to gather intelligence concerning not only state gang trends, but national gang trends too. 2008-2010


Publications: Detoured: My Journey from Darkness to Light. Barking Rooster Publications: Los Angeles, CA (My Memoir)

Journal of Prisoners on Prisons: Volume 21, Number 1 & 2, 2012



Gang Involvement: A Look at Why Minors Join Gangs and How WE Can Reach Our Youth. The 41st National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), Dallas, Texas 2012

Seeing Ourselves Emancipating Our Dialogue: Research as Hope From Incarceration Today And Tomorrow. Presented at the 2nd Annual Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education Conference: San Antonio, Texas 2011

Facilitated Gang Awareness Workshops:

Merced Unified School District: Merced,

Stockton Unified School District: Stockton, CA

Roseville School District: Roseville, CA

Parks & Recreation Department: Stockton, CA

Monterey County Juvenile Hall: Salinas, CA

San Francisco County Juvenile Hall: San Francisco, CA

Alameda Juvenile Hall: Oakland, CA

San Joaquin Delta College: Stockton, CA

CSU Stanislaus: Turlock, CA


Some cases I have testified on and/or participated as a gang expert/consultant:

People vs. Arturo Manzanero

Rancho San Pedro Sureño Gang Case

Henry Salcido Attorney at Law

Long Beach, CA


Defendant found not guilty of

Gang allegation

People vs. Hernandez et. al.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Michael Wiseman Attorney at Law

121 Locust Street

Philadelphia PA 19107


5 defendants found guilty

7 found not guilty

People vs. Angel Rivera

Stanislaus County

Norteño Gang Case

Ben Jacob Attorney at Law

770 L Street #950

Sacramento, CA 95814

Defendant Found Not Guilty

People vs. Herrera, Pedro

Santa Clara County

Norteño Gang Case

Lindsey Dazel: Attorney at Law

93 Devine Street Suite 203

San Jose, CA 95110


Jury Hung 11 to 1 for acquittal

People vs. Alvarez

San Mateo County

Norteño Gang Case

Maria Fonseca: Attorney at Law

702 Marshall Street Suite 511

Redwood City CA 94063


Gang Allegations Dismissed

As a Result of my Testimony

At Preliminary Hearing

People vs. Espinoza et. al

Sacramento County

Sureño Gang Case

Keith Staten: Attorney at Law

1023 H. St. Suite A

Sacramento CA 95814

(916) 443-5600

Defendants Found Guilty

People vs. Andrew Rodríguez

Santa Clara County

Norteño Gang Case

Timothy Clancy: Attorney at Law

1290 B Street, suite 304

Hayward, CA 94541


Defendant Found Not Guilty of Gang Allegation

People vs. Bustamante et. al

Santa Clara County

Norteño Gang Case

Lindsey Dazel: Attorney at Law

93 Devine Street Suite 203

San Jose, CA 95110


Defendants Found Not Guilty of Gang Allegation

People vs. Sebourne et.al Homicide

Sureño Gang Case

Stanislaus County

Gregory Bentley: Attorney at Law

500 Broadway

San Francisco CA 94133


Hung Jury. Set for Re-Trial

People vs. Ernesto Munguia: Gang Injunction

Norteño Gang Case

Stanislaus County

Mark Girdner: Attorney at Law

811 15th Street

Modesto, CA 95354

(209) 524-7600

Defendant Found Not Guilty

People vs. Velasco

LASC, South Central District (Compton)

Don Kelly Attorney at Law

317 Rosecrans Blvd # 2 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


Gang allegations: Not Guilty

People vs. Errik Roman: Attempted Homicide

Sureño Gang Case

Santa Barbara County

K.C. Williamson: Attorney at Law

Santa Barbara Public Defender

Santa Barbara, CA

Defendant Found Guilty

People vs. Rocky Riberal- Homicide

Norteño Gang Case

San Joaquin County

Ralph Cingcon: Attorney at Law 5250 Claremont Ave

Stockton, CA 95207

(209) 462-5600

Defendant Found Guilty

People vs. Niaz Mohammed Khoshnaw- Homicide

Norteño Gang Case

Hillsborough County

Edie Rogoway: Attorney at Law

6312 SW Capitol Highway # 1102

Portland, OR 97239

(503) 334-0331

Defendant Found Guilty

People vs. Jah-Kari, Phyall- Homicide

Stanislaus County

Norteño Gang Case

Frank Carson: Attorney at Law

815 15th Street

Modesto, CA 95354

(209) 549-0984

Defendant Found Not Guilty

People vs. Elizondo, Christian Orlando- Possession of Drugs/Firearm

Norteño Gang Case- Defendant Plead to Lesser Charge:

San Joaquin County

David Atkinson: Attorney at Law

343 East Main Street Suite 911 Stockton, CA 95202

Gang Enhancement Dismissed

People vs. Eady, Howard Lamont-Homicide

Sutter Street Crip Gang Case

Douglass C. Jacobsen: Attorney at Law

1811 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite 2

Stockton, CA 95207-8107

Gang Allegation Dismissed: Defendant pled guilty to 22 years.

People vs. Orozco, Josue- Homicide

Sureño Gang Case

San Mateo, County,

Ray, Buenaventura: Attorney at Law

2171 Junipero Serra Blvd.

Daly City, CA 94014

Ph. (650) 756-2000

Hung Jury: Defendant Pled to 43 Years

People vs. Gonzalez, Abel, Jr.-Drug Trafficking

Sureño Gang Case

Ted, Bastian, Jr.: Attorney at Law

600 Fourth St. P.O. Box431

Yreka, CA 96097

Ph. (530) 842-2000

Defendant Pled to Seven Years. Gang Enhancement Dismissed.

People vs. Shifflett, William Jr. Drug Possession

Arron, Williams: Attorney at Law

1721 Court St Redding, CA 96001

Ph. (530) 241-6991

Defendant Pled: Gang Allegation Dismissed

People vs. Lieffer, Donald- Homicide

Alleged Northern Peckerwood Gang Case

Charles Slote: Attorney at Law

305 N. El Dorado Suite, 301

Stockton, CA 95202

Ph. (209) 948-5711

Gang Enhancement Dismissed After My Testimony at Preliminary

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