About Us

Board of Directors

John Kalin

Board Chair

John Kalin, a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney in San Francisco, has volunteered with his wife Cathy for Get On The Bus since 2009 serving as Bus Coordinator and leading the Prison Event Team at San Quentin last year. In addition to his volunteer work for GOTB, John’s pro bono legal service and public interest activities have included Board Member of the San Francisco Playhouse, Board Member of Larkin Street Youth Services, Board Member of San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and California Department of Corrections State Board of Prison Terms Attorney Referral Panel.

John Storm

Vice Chair

Deacon John Storm is the Director of Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries for the Diocese of Santa Rosa. He is a Deacon of the Catholic Church and was ordained in 2012.  John presently serves as the diocesan director of Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries for the diocese.  Since 2017, he has been an advisor to the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Conference of Catholic Bishops and is a member of the San Quentin Advisory Council for KAIROS Prison Ministry. John Storm is the Director of Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries for the Diocese of Santa Rosa. He is a Deacon of the Catholic Church and was ordained in 2012.  John presently serves as the diocesan director of Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries for the diocese.  Since 2017, he has been an advisor to the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Conference of Catholic Bishops and is a member of the San Quentin Advisory Council for KAIROS Prison Ministry.

Prior to ordination, John worked as an investigator for the Probate Division of the Sonoma County Superior Court for five years and was a federal probation officer in the Northern District of California, and a deputy probation officer for two California counties, working in corrections for over 35 years. During his career, John was a lecturer at the University of San Francisco and on the adjunct faculty of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Academy. He is a co-author of two U.S. Probation Office training manuals and author of the article “What U.S. Probation Officers Do” published in Federal Probation Quarterly (March 1997).

Deacon John Storm is a native of San Francisco and a graduate of St. Ignatius High School and the University of San Francisco.  He was awarded a Master of Justice Administration degree from Golden Gate University and is also a retired U.S. Army Reserve officer.    John is married and resides with his wife in Santa Rosa, California.  Together, they have assisted with Get On The Bus for over five years.

Robert Herrera

Treasurer

Robert was born and raised in East Los Angeles. After high school, Robert served in the U.S. Army. He was a Sergeant, Light Infantry Air Assault Squad, during the Vietnam War, in the 1st Air Mobile Calvary Division. After his tour of duty, he attended and graduated from California State University, Los Angeles. Robert began his professional career with the Internal Revenue Service, and later started his own tax consulting business. In 2021, Robert joined the CRJW Board of Directors in the role of Treasurer. He has been married for 49 years, has three children and four grandchildren.

Dorinda Upham

Secretary

Dorinda Upham has been an educator for over 30 years. She taught High School Religion in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and currently teaches in the Orange Diocese at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. Dorinda has been involved with Get On The Bus since the late 1990’s. She is an active member of WOW (Women of Wisdom) and serves as a Co-Chair of DPFOC (Death Penalty Focus Orange County). Over the years Dorinda has remained a committed volunteer, serving the poor, disenfranchised, and ministering to the imprisoned. 

Brian Clements

Board Member

Brian was ordained in 1999 as a deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  He served on the Deacon Formation Advisory Board for 18 years.  He was employed by the County of Ventura Behavioral Health Division as a Clinic Administrator in their Alcohol/Drug Treatment Program until he retired in 2007.  During his time with the County, he served 6 years on the Moorpark College Health Center Advisory Board.

Brian’s primary passion has been prison ministry.  In 1999, he began in Kairos Prison Retreat Ministry as a clergy team member serving in USP Lompoc, FCI Terminal Island, and for the last 5 years at California City State Prison.  He currently serves as a Spiritual Director on the California City Kairos Advisory Board.  He previously volunteered at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, assisting the Chaplain and providing pastoral counseling to the youth for 8 years.

Brian has been involved with Get On The Bus since 2012, serving as a Bus Coordinator for several years and then as the primary fundraiser for the parish GOTB team.

He has served as a volunteer Chaplain with the Simi Valley Police Department and also with the Ventura County Fire Department since 2002.

Brian is recently widowed, has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Elizabeth Espinosa

Board Member

Elizabeth Espinosa is among the state’s premier county public safety advocates with broad experience in administration of justice matters, including 2011 Realignment, juvenile justice, and court-related issues. Since launching Hurst Brooks Espinosa (HBE)—a majority women-owned, Sacramento-based advocacy and consulting firm—in 2015, Elizabeth has lent her expertise to local government clients, foundations, and various coalitions seeking to benefit from her extensive budget and policy expertise. She provides clients with strategic advice in seeking grant funding opportunities, developing strategies to engage with government officials, and assessing the feasibility of pursuing specific policy objectives. HBE’s practice is exclusively focused on the public and non-profit sectors.

 Elizabeth served as the lead public safety advocate for all 58 counties from 2004 to 2014 and the subject-matter analyst at the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for the five years prior. She was the primary author of the Probation Services Task Force report, a comprehensive review and assessment of county probation in California published in 2003. In 2007, she served as the county representative in negotiations with the state related to a shift to county responsibility for nearly the entire juvenile justice population (SB 81), and she has extensive background in assisting counties with the implementation of various trial court funding reforms.

 Elizabeth also was the lead on county issues for all aspects of implementation of AB 109, a 2011 measure that shifted significant criminal justice system responsibilities from the state prison and parole systems to counties. These efforts required extensive interaction and outreach with counties – supervisors, county executive and administrative officers, sheriffs, probation chiefs, and county fiscal analysts. She continues to be called upon for her deep technical understanding of and expertise in the programmatic and funding details behind the 2011 realignment of various law enforcement programs.

 Elizabeth’s interest and involvement in statewide administration of justice policy issues began in 1995 when she joined the Judicial Council as a court management analyst. There she honed her analytical and quantitative skills, gained important understanding of state trial and appellate court operations, and established relationships within the judiciary and the state courts’ policy making body that endure to this day. During her time at CSAC, Elizabeth represented counties’ interests in a broad array of direct negotiations with the courts on policy issues of significance, including the detailed and often complex court facility transfer process, renewing the statutory structure for the provision of court security services in a post-Realignment environment, and development of consensus-based resolutions regarding several court-county financial transactions following a division of local judicial and executive branch functions and operations in the late 1990s. Elizabeth is one of a small number of policy advocates in the state with in-depth expertise in court and county issues, informed by more than 25 years of experience spanning her employment with the Judicial Council and the statewide association of counties.

Prior to beginning her career in public policy, Elizabeth managed multi-lingual translation projects in Paris and San Francisco. Ms. Espinosa is a fourth generation San Diegan. She earned a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Frenchat UC Irvine, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Espinosa went on to complete an M.A. in French at Middlebury College; she lived and worked in Paris for four years as a young adult.

 Elizabeth has served as a mentor in the Capitol Network, a membership organization supporting women in the Sacramento Capitol community. From 2014 to 2018, she also served as a volunteer member of the Yolo County Juvenile Review Board, whose goal is to divert youth from the juvenile justice system by making available to them and their families an array of community-based alternatives. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and son. 

Abdul Hafiz, Imam

Board Member

Imam Abdul Hafiz attended Tuskegee University in Alabama where he graduated in 1973 with a B.S. in American History minor in Journalism. In 1977 Imam Abdul Hafiz returned to Gary Indiana and was asked to serve as Imam at Al Amin Masjid (formerly the headquarters of the MSA), in 1978 he became a member of the first formal Imam training for American born Imams sponsored by the Muslim world league, taught by Alims from several Muslim nations. In 1980 he was granted a scholarship to study Arabic for non-Arabs at King Saud University in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. He completed the Arabic study program and entered the University department of Islamic Education. He returned to the United States in 1986 and in 1987 was hired as one of the first Muslim Chaplains to work full time as staff Chaplain in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He served as staff Chaplain at U.S. Penitentiary Lompoc California from 1987 until December 1989, he served as Staff Chaplain and Supervisory Chaplain at Federal Correctional Institute at Terminal Island until retirement in 2009 . and as Supervisory Chaplain at the Metro Detention center in down town Los Angeles from 2002 until December 2009. Imam Abdul Hafiz was recognized as a subject matter expert on Islamic practices in a Correctional environment and is highly recognized throughout the United States among Correctional Administrators and Professionals and regularly consulted.

Imam Abdul received National Chaplain of the year award recognition (1996) by the Federal Bureau of Prison, FCI Terminal Island Staff Correctional Worker of the year in 1995,The Director of the Bureau Prison award in 1998, Orthodox Jewish Rabbinical counsel of Los Angeles recognition 2004, proclamation from Los Angeles County Commissioners for working with inmates of all faiths 2004, Proclamation Los Angeles City Council 2004 for special service to people of faith incarcerated, Chaplain of the year Aleph Institute (ultra-Orthodox National Jewish organization that serves inmates in all jails and prisons across the U.S and the Military ) in 2008 , and the Western Regional Director of Federal Bureau of Prison award 2009 . He serves on the Advisory Board of N-Action family Network; an organization that works with children in homeless families. In the fall of 2012, he became Director of the Southern California Shura council Prison outreach program. In June of 2019, he became resident Imam at Masjid Al Shareef in Long Beach CA.

 

Connie Ireland, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Connie Ireland, PhD is a Professor at the department of Criminology, Criminal Justice & Emergency Management at California State University, Long Beach. Her research is in the area of corrections, with focus areas in collateral consequences of incarceration, both for inmates and their families, as well as impacts on those employed in the field, and on victims and communities. Her courses include Corrections (prisons), Research Methods, Ethics, Probation & Parole, Correctional Environments (Jails on Wheels), Get On The Bus (service learning class bringing children to visit incarcerated parents), and Collateral Consequences of Incarceration. Dr. Ireland has been serving GOTB and its mission for over 7 years.

Lois Lengel

Board Member
Lois Lengel comes from a professional background, with management and executive experience. She served as director at a retail company for 15 years and as the CEO and Board President of the Good Shepherd Shelter. Lois has been involved with CRJW for the past 6 years as a Bus Coordinator, Regional Coordinator, and volunteer trainer. Additionally, Lois is a volunteer and sponsor of youth at the Camarillo Correctional Facility, and has been a Ventura County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for Foster Children for the past five years. Lois has always had a drive for working with disadvantaged youth, and is passionate about serving CRJW families.

Claudia Lopez, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Claudia Maria López, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the department of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. With a Ph.D. in Sociology, she researches displacement and globalization. Her current projects study internal forced migration in Medellín, Colombia and housing instability and health in Southern California.

Teresa Lynch, CSJ

Board Member

Teresa Lynch, CSJ is currently the principal of Saint Anne Parish School in Santa Ana, CA and a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Los Angeles. Sister has been involved in education for most of her religious life. In 2001 she worked with others to establish a dog program at CIW which has now expanded to include Orange county dog shelters and juvenile detention centers. Teresa has been active in Get On the Bus for the last 11 years, serving at different times as a bus coordinator for Long Beach and South Central areas, always with her camera helping to take candid photographs for Get On the Bus publications. She has been a board member for three years.

Manuel Gomez

Board Member

Manuel Gomez is a formerly incarcerated individual who was introduced to CRJW during his stay at Folsom State Prison. He reunited with his wife and children via the Get On The Bus program. He has stayed committed to Get On The Bus. Mr. Gomez has a passion for family reunification and ending mass incarceration. He is currently working towards his Master’s Degree in Social Work at California State University Long Beach. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran. Prison taught him the value and beauty of life. Refusing to succumb to the systemic oppressive generational shackles, he has dedicated his life to helping others. Mr. Gomez works diligently to uplift his community and serves as a role model for the marginalized. 

Frank Tinajero, SVD

Board Member

Frank Tinajero, SVD was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He began his religious training with the Society of the Divine Word in the innovative formation program at Casa Guadalupe, “el seminario del barrio.” Fr. Tinajero’s educational background consists of the area of clinical psychology and spirituality. He has served at various municipal, state and federal penal institutions at all levels of security for over thirty years. He currently lives with his religious community in Los Angeles while assisting various parishes in pastoral ministry.

If you are interested in becoming a board member, please email Liz Rios at lrios@crjw.org.