Danny Contreras and Michael Salinas served a total of 42 years of incarceration. They have transformed their lives and are making a huge difference in their communities. They are serious about using their time, talents, and lives to help others transform and heal. Danny has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and multiple certifications in drug and alcohol counseling and human services with high honors. He holds a Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC III), and is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor through California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP). Danny works for the County of Santa Cruz's Health Services Agency as the Health Services Manager that oversees the Medication Assisted Treatment Program (MAT) for all of the counties clinics. Danny was the recipient of the 2017 County of Santa Cruz Gold award for being the key contributor to the development of protocols, procedures, forms, workflows, and implementing the Medication Assisted Treatment program at all county clinics.
Danny teaches at the local police academy to future officers on stigma, drug addiction, stereotypes, and providing trauma informed care. Danny is regularly consulted by agencies, schools, and people in the community on various issues involving at-risk youth, incarceration, reentry, gangs, addiction, implementing MAT, outreach, prevention, intervention, and homelessness. His experience and education have put him in a unique position to help people on their journey of healing. He is an advocate and a voice for those who cannot be heard and lives his life to get them the services they need. He is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University School of Law gang expert certification program. Follow his stories @https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYhZKQ4lgFAqeObrSlH5_fw
Michael Salinas was born and raised in Gilroy Ca. At the age of 11 his life took a turn for the worse. He began to hang out with negative associations ultimately leading to a life of substance abuse, gang involvement, and 28 years of incarceration. After being released from prison for what seemed like 100th time. He decided to stick to his reentry plan and stay free. Part of his plan included his education and substance use/mental health treatment. Once he secured these three components of reentry and restoration in his life, he started a whole new chapter of a life in recovery and service to his community. He is a graduate of a chemical dependency certification program from Cal State East Bay and is very close to earning his Bachelor’s Degree. He is an Associate Director for a substance use youth outpatient program. His freedom, sanity, and self-worth are all important to his transformed life.
He advocates for the perspective that rehabilitation, reform, and transformation are all possible and society would be better if we gave the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated a second chance because his life is an example that anyone can transform.
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