The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
The newly elected leadership team represents a bright future for the Commission as each person brings profound experience with justice reform in their professional and personal lives.
The Commission elected Franky Carrillo as its first Chairperson. Carrillo is a dedicated father and advocate who speaks up for those who have been silenced by the criminal justice system like he once was. In 1991, at the age of 16, Carrillo was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. Despite his wrongful conviction, Carrillo always believed that justice would prevail, and it did. In 2011, he was exonerated and released from prison. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Loyola Marymount University and won a settlement for his wrongful conviction.
Carrillo found his voice and civic engagement early on when he joined state and national campaigns for extensive reforms within the criminal justice system. He is an elected member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and chair of the 51st Assembly District and is a member of the transition team for the new Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. Carrillo was appointed to the Commission by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District.
“It was incredibly important to me to appoint someone who understood our justice system—someone who had been directly impacted by it, and that is Franky Carrillo,” said Supervisor Solis. “Franky brings to the table his lived experience and his experience as an exoneree. He has the unique and unfortunate experience of being impacted by an unjust and unfair system. What I appreciate is that, upon release, Franky immediately sought opportunities and has found roles within these systems to share his story through his advocacy to make the system more fair and just for everyone. I am also pleased to know that we have many other Commissioners on the Probation Oversight Commission who have lived experience. It is only by working with those who intimately understand the system that we can find solutions to transform it.”
The Commission also elected Esché Jackson as Vice Chair. Jackson leverages her firsthand and intergenerational justice system experiences to center reform advocacy on rehabilitation, inclusivity, and equity. She is a two-time USC graduate (BA and MPA) and said she envisions a Department driven by sound policies, perceptive approaches, and collaborative oversight. Commissioner Jackson is an at-large member of the Commission.
“The vision behind re-imagining justice becomes more of a reality every day,” said Jackson. “There is a deep desire to see system change facilitated by those with direct experience and visionary leadership to bring reform goals to pass. My election as Vice Chair of the Probation Oversight Commission is representative of the change that I want to see and be in this work. It comes with a renewed sense of responsibility, commitment, and hope.”
Dolores Canales was also elected Secretary for the Commission. Canales is currently the Community Outreach Director for The Bail Project. Previously a Soros Justice Fellow, Dolores is the co-founder of California Families Against Solitary Confinement and worked as a youth coordinator for the Orangewood Children’s Foundation.
She is the founder of Family Unity Network and serves as the Director for the National Network of Solitary Survivors and Families project and advocates to end the use of solitary confinement. Canales brings a wealth of leadership experience in organizing with those personally affected by incarceration, drawing from her own experiences as well as having a family member who is incarcerated. Canales was appointed by Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn.
“The Probation Oversight Commission’s work needs the guidance of people who have lived experience in the systems they are overseeing,” said Hahn. “My appointee to this commission, Dolores Canales, has personal experience with incarceration and understands the challenges people face as they work to rebuild their lives. Her insight will be an asset to the commission as they take on this important work.”
Canales said she is excited about the opportunities ahead.
“I am very hopeful about being part of the Commission and thankful to Supervisor Hahn for entrusting me with such an important position,” said Canales. “We have an incredible team with a wealth of experience and a deep passion for social justice and those who are personally affected by Probation.” She added, “I believe that the most important part of this role is to hear from and work with people who are involved in the system and create real, positive change.”
With a new team on board, Carrillo said he is hoping to make a big impact.
“I am honored to be part of the Probation Oversight Commission and to lead our efforts to change the culture of the department,” said Carrillo. “The fact that I’ve been elected as the Chair, and that the Vice Chair and Secretary are all formerly system impacted, is a sign that the we are leading by example and are hopeful for the future.”
The Probation Oversight Commission is committed to upholding the ambitious goals set forth by the Board of Supervisors to reform Probation in Los Angeles County as the first body of its kind in the nation.
“The Probation Oversight Commission is tasked with work that is crucial to future of justice in Los Angeles for youth and adults,” said Wendelyn Julien, executive director for the Probation Oversight Commission. “Who better to lead that work than people who have lived experience in the criminal justice system and who have dedicated their lives to improving it for others. I am honored to work alongside the commissioners as they dive into this challenge.”
The Board of Supervisors voted to create the Probation Oversight Commission in 2020 following the recommendations of the Probation Reform Implementation Team (PRIT).
To learn more about the Commission, visit poc.lacounty.gov.