Paul Bocanegra (he/him) was condemned to life in prison without parole at the age of 17. Paul served twenty-five and a half years, more than twelve of those in solitary confinement. He was paroled under Senate Bill 9, which gave youth with life without parole sentences an opportunity to petition the court for a second sentencing hearing. Paul transitioned back into the community in September 2017 and discharged parole in 2021, obtaining agency in his life for the first time.
Today, Paul is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Commissioner for San Mateo County, a personal mentor for transitioning community members, and an expert witness in criminal justice cases involving youth. Paul has testified at the State Capitol and helped to defeat legislation that threatened current reforms, has co-authored legislation in his county, and is a member of the Latin X Advisory Committee to Sen. Josh Becker.
Paul co-founded ReEvolution to use his lens of lived experience to help ReEvolution provide meaningful support in prevention efforts, with an emphasis on youth, and person-centered reentry programs for all the transitioning community.