Public Health Program Social Justice Speakers Series 2017
Session 4: October 9 - Incarceration, Re-Entry & Recidivism Prevention/Solution
Obie Anthony’s Obie Anthony, Founder and President of Exonerated Nation, knows all too well the challenges faced by those who have been wrongfully convicted. Anthony was given a life sentence for murder he did not commit in 1994. He was incarcerated for 17 years.
Upon his exoneration in 2011, he had to learn on his own how to establish his life again, from the seemingly mundane task of securing identification documents and finding a place to live to determining what would be his vocation. Anthony decided that he needed to lend his voice to the wrongful conviction movement.
After successfully winning a lawsuit in the State of California for his wrongful conviction, Anthony’s activism was instrumental in the passage of California AB 672 in October 2015, now known as Obie’s Law. Obie’s Law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible exonerees released from the state prison receive up to one year of transitional services including job training, housing assistance, and mental health services. AB 672 also provides a free valid identification card and a free driver’s license to eligible exonerees.
Dr. Ann Finkelstein
Ann Finkelstein is a family physician, and is the clinic coordinator of the La Clínica de la Raza Vallejo Transitions Clinic. The Transitions Clinic is a program that provides a medical home and links to social services to people with chronic medical conditions who have recently been released from prison or jail. Along with community health worker MaDonna Garcia-Crowley, Dr. Finkelstein is currently serving over fifty Solano County residents as they make their transition from incarceration back into the community. She builds on La Clínica's history of providing culturally appropriate, high quality and accessible health care, expanding the scope of their services in Vallejo in order to better address the needs of former prisoners. Services she has initiated include on-site rapid hepatitis C testing, hepatitis C treatment, and buprenorphine maintenance therapy for people with opiate use disorder; she hopes to soon start a syringe exchange program. Dr. Finkelstein attended medical school at the University of Southern California, and also completed a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Prevention. She did her residency in Family Medicine at the Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. She advocates passionately for dignified and respectful treatment for "returning citizens", for a more just criminal justice system, and for health care for all.
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