Episode 16

The Prison Post #16 Mannie Thomas & Hugo Gonzalez, Success Stories

Published on: 25th November, 2020

Mannie Thomas and Hugo Gonzalez were both featured in the documentary “the feminst on Cell Block Y” when they were still incarcerated and leaders/facilitators of the Success Stories program. They were sentenced to over 100 years to life combined. Today's show is not only about their roles in Success Stories, but about hope. We’ve never had any two guests on the show sentenced to that amount of time. Let me introduce them formerly...Mannie Thomas is the Coach and Growth Coordinator for Success Stories. He was sentenced to 32 Years to Life as a youth. While in prison he earned 5 associate degrees in multiple disciplines. Nearly two years ago Governor Brown took note of his transformation and his hard work and commuted Mannie’s sentence to 14 Years to Life. Mannie was found suitable for parole and upon his release in October of 2019, he was hired as a Success Stories Coach and Growth Coordinator. Today he focuses on identifying and securing new sites to deliver the Success Stories Program.

Hugo Gonzalez is the Success Stories Alumni Coordinator and a Coach. After serving 18 and a half years in prison, his sentence was also commuted by Governor Jerry Brown. He was 16 years old when he was sentenced to 3 consecutive 25 Years to Life sentences in prison. Hugo is a phenomenal artist, advocate, and storyteller. Hugo goes to public forums, conferences, and schools to speak about Patriarchy, toxic masculinity, gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry. In a little over a month Hugo will be going to law school at Loyola Marymount University. We feature parts of their reentry stories and their work with Success Stories. #theprisonpost #theprisonpostpodcast #SuccessStories #workingtogethertorestorelives #CROPOrganization

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About the Podcast

The Prison Post
Transforming Lives and Healing Communities by Reimagining Reentry
The Prison Post is a podcast interviewing leaders in the criminal justice reform, restorative justice, and social justice movements. In addition, we share the transformational stories of the currently and formerly incarcerated and highlight what CROP Organization is doing by reimagining reentry for returning citizens.
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Richard Mireles

With a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management from California Coast University, Richard is a dynamic public speaker and expert communicator with Advanced Leadership and Communication certifications with the world recognized Toastmasters International. Having spent over 21 years inside of CDCR, Richard made abundant contributions as a cofounder of the Inside Solutions think-tank and lead intern for the CROP Organization’s programs offered within institutions. An inspiring leader and powerful orator with over 35 transformational coaching seminars and workshops, Richard possesses the uncanny ability to capture a room's attention while conveying impactful messages to any audience. He has an advanced certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug counselor (receiving a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his contributions to the recovery community) and was the only known incarcerated person to earn the status of associate trainer for John Maxwell’s EQUIP Leadership and its Million Leader Mandate.