The Prison Post Bonus Episode #10 Jonathan Barber,

Published on: 20th January, 2021

Jonathan Barber was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. In 2003, Jonathan was the driver in a fatal DUI murder. He was arrested and sentenced to a 15 years to life sentence. In 2003, Jonathan had little remorse and was looking for ways to get out of the situation he put himself in. He was more angry at the system for putting him in prison, than himself for making the decisions he made.

In 2010, Jonathan started getting involved in self help rehabilitative groups. He experienced a long process of realizing the experiences he took from his victims and their family. He came to the decision that he needed to make changes in his life. 

While incarcerated Jonathan received his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, and his Master’s Degree in Humanities. He also graduated from CROP Organization’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling Program as a state certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC-I). 

Before being released he was given a three year denial at the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH), but was granted a switch from a level 2 to a level 1 custody level. He spent 8 years at the level 2 prison, so being transferred meant that he wouldn’t be able to spend anymore time with the people that he had grown so close to. Jonathan made sure to spend as much time with every person he had become friends with. After 18 months, he was able to go back before the BPH and this time he was found suitable for parole. 

The morning of his release he went and had one last meal at the chow hall, came back to the building, packed his belongings and headed to Receiving and Release one last time.

His father was there to pick him up and they began the long journey home to L.A. He stopped at Subway for his first freedom meal. Jonathyn was happy to have some vegetables that were crunchy and bread that wasn’t stale. When they got home, he ended the day in a very normal way, he and his father relaxed and watched football together until they both went to bed.

When Jonathan was at his worst, he created and lived with a victim mentality. He didn’t want to see what happened as being his responsibility. He now realizes that the victim mentality is always the easy way out. Today, he sees that he needs to take daily responsibility for his actions and empower himself by owning his contribution to every situation in his life. He was released from prison in September of 2019. He is using the certification he earned through CROP Organization’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling Program and serves his community as a Clinical Case Manager in the AOD space. He also hopes to make a difference in the criminal justice reform movement and spends as much time as he can with his family. #CROPOrganization #CROP #ThePrisonPost #ThePrisonPostPodcast #WorkingTogethertoRestoreLives

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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.