Our Mission

CRI is a collectively run investigation office and resource center. We build narratives to challenge the death penalty and advocate for the value of human life. We collaborate with families and communities impacted by the judicial system to facilitate safety, growth, and resilience.

CRI was founded in 2006 by Kendra Ing, Scarlet Nerad, Julie Lagarde, and Laura Rogers as a capital defense investigation office and community resource center. After years of working on death penalty cases, CRI's founders saw a need to provide services in communities adversely affected by death penalty prosecutions.

Nearly a decade and a half later, CRI continues to serve clients, their families, and capital defense teams.

Our History

August 2013

Colleague and friend of CRI, Sandra Coke, is kidnapped and murdered. Sandra had maintained an office at CRI and was a valued member of the mitigation community.

2014

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Our Impact

In the

Courtroom

Through the legal process of mitigation, we communicate to juries what it means to take a person’s life.

With the

Community

We work with families and communities affected by the judicial system and provide support tailored to their needs.

Advancing

Policy

We advocate to reform our criminal legal system and dismantle the death penalty.

June 1972

As a result of various state and Supreme Court decisions, executions in the state of California stop. No state-sanctioned executions are carried out for the next twenty years.

April 1992

Executions resume in California on April 21, 1992, when Robert Alton Harris was executed by lethal gas at San Quentin State Prison.

July 2006

CRI was founded by Kendra Ing, Scarlet Nerad, Julie Lagarde, and Laura Rogers. CRI creates a space where mitigation specialists work collectively on cases and invest resources in the communities most impacted by prosecutions.

September 2009

Metwest, a public school in Oakland, partners with CRI to develop a high school internship program. Student interns at CRI study the school to prison pipeline, prison food and nutrition, and prisoner safety.

November 2012

CA Proposition 34, which would have repealed the death penalty and replaced it with life in prison, fails at the ballot with 48% support from voters.

August 2013

Colleague and friend of CRI, Sandra Coke, is kidnapped and murdered. Sandra had maintained an office at CRI and was a valued member of the mitigation community.

February 2016

CRI attends the Oscars for the animated documentary, Last Day of Freedom. The film, directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones tells the story of Manny Babbit's arrest and execution as experienced by his brother Bill.

September 2016

CRI begins it's annual Swim to Alcatraz fundraiser. Staff, board members, and volunteers bravely raise funds for the organization by swimming the San Francisco Bay.

June 2017

Music for the Masses students hold their first recital with performer and teacher Meghan Dibble. The program pairs children of incarcerated and deported parents with musicians to help students learn the instrument of their choice.

December 2017

The Artists in Residence program partners with painter Leyla Margolis-Brooks. In this program, artists use their medium to work with families in healing through telling their stories.

Our Team

We make decisions based on consensus.

CRI is a democratic, worker-run organization. Our flat leadership structure facilitates shared power, maximizes our agency, and aims to dismantle inequity. 

We have found working collaboratively is the most effective tool in advocating for our clients and in maintaining the sustainability of our organization.

Staff

Anthony Ginez

Anthony joined CRI in 2012 as the Director of Programs. He has since taken on a dual role of overseeing CRI’s operations and conducting direct service investigations as a Mitigation Specialist. Anthony has a BA in Urban Studies and Planning from San Francisco State University and much of his work has focused on documenting how culture, history, politics and ecology impact outcomes of our clients. Prior to joining CRI, Anthony was working with youth and families in Visitacion Valley in southeast San Francisco.

Carlos Cruz

Carlos joined CRI in 2021 as a Mitigation Specialist to help clients tell their dignified and valued stories and advocate for life. He graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2020 with a M.A. in History.

Emma Cott

Emma joined CRI as the Reading Across the Lines program director in June 2021. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Masters in Special Education. Emma has worked as a teacher for students with multiple mental health diagnosis and emotional disturbance since 2016. Throughout her time in the classroom, Emma witnessed the power of social-emotional connection as a tool for academic success. She hopes to promote self-expression, resilience and healing through CRIs reading and arts-based community programs.

Harriet Storm

Harriet joined CRI in December 2018, as a mitigation specialist with the aim of using her background in written and filmic storytelling to craft narratives that not only challenge the death penalty but also affirm the value of human life.

Jade Romain

Jade joined CRI in December 2019 as a Mitigation Specialist. She graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Masters in Communication Sciences & Disorders. Through her work as a Speech Language Pathologist, Jade realized that when humans are denied the opportunity to use their voices to express their desires or ideas, it is not uncommon for conflict to arise in their lives. Thus, she has been able to deepen her knowledge and clinician skills on communication deficits related to individuals who are incarcerated.

Kyle Earley

Kyle Earley joined CRI in 2016 as a Mitigation Specialist. He conducts investigative research, record collection, and develops social histories on behalf of men and women facing the death penalty. Kyle has a BA in Communications with a minor in History. Prior to joining CRI, Kyle worked as a Trial Assistant at the Law Offices of Jack Earley.

Lily Sorrentino

Lily Sorrentino graduated from Trinity University in 2019, with a B.A in Sociology. Prior to joining CRI as a permanent staff mitigator in August 2019, Lily was an intern and independent contractor for CRI beginning in 2017.

Lorena Rodriguez

Lorena joined CRI in early 2020 as Mitigator Specialist. She holds an M.A. in International Studies from ICU in Tokyo, Japan and specialized in security, identity, and religion. Before joining CRI, she worked as a researcher for the High Commissioner for Peace in Colombia. Lorena joined CRI with the belief that prisons are obsolete and inefficient. She believes we all have a responsibility to creatively explore new ways of understanding justice and security; ways that take into account the social and economic conditions that track many children from poor communities, into the school-to-prison pipeline system. Lorena is at CRI because she wants to lift voices and life-stories that have been historically marginalized.

Michelle Gaudet

Michelle joined CRI in 2011 as a Mitigation Specialist. She collaborates on social history, mental health and fair trial investigation in an effort to improve the legal standard of care for men and women facing the death penalty. Much of her work has focused on working with individuals who fled or were forcibly displaced from Central America and Mexico. She holds a BA in International Studies from George Washington University.

Robbie Zheng

Robbie joined CRI in 2018. Prior to joining, he had been involved in several community non-profits across the Bay Area. Robbie is a UC Berkeley Alumnus. In addition to mitigation investigation, Robbie is the caretaker of CRI’s office plants.

Rodrigo Gomez

Rodrigo was a former client of CRI and currently is part of the internship program. He has run the CARES hotline, where he helps incarcerated men and women file to receive their stimulus checks during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is very happy and proud to be able to help those who do not have reliable access to resources. CRI has helped restore Rodrigo’s confidence in himself, and has proven to him there are still forces of good in the world.

Sandra Zuniga

After earning her Masters in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, Sandra entered the public sector to explore her passion for neighborhoods and community. At CRI Sandra works to restore relationships with families through programs like Reading Across the Lines and work on communication materials. Understanding crime and punishment has become a passion of hers since my career began and has grown since personally being impacted by the justice system.

Scarlet Nerad

Scarlet has been mitigating on behalf of men and women facing the death penalty for over 20 years. She co-founded CRI in 2007 to continue to investigate death penalty cases at the trial and post-conviction level and train others, while creating and developing initiatives designed to combat risk factors in children we now recognize left our condemned most at risk for incarceration.

Board of Directors

Raina Celnik

Raina Celnik has been involved with CRI since 2012. She initially joined as Director of Operations, and then worked as a Mitigator until 2018. She couldn’t stay away, and joined the board in late 2018. Raina continues to collaborate with CRI on projects, such as conducting analysis of charging practices and the use of enhancements in various Bay Area counties. She currently works as an analyst for the City and County of San Francisco.

Jesse Stout

Jesse Stout is excited to work towards abolition of the death penalty while serving on CRI’s board. He is a longtime criminal justice activist and attorney experienced in corporate law, criminal defense, and legislative advocacy. Jesse is an attorney at Greenbridge Corporate Counsel and a member of the No New SF Jail Coalition. He previously served as Policy Director at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, organizing and lobbying to advance the rights of formerly incarcerated people. Jesse holds degrees from Brown University and UC Hastings College of the Law. During law school he interned with the California Assembly Public Safety Committee, analyzing legislation and making vote recommendations to then-chairman Asm. Tom Ammiano. Before law school, he served as executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition; the RI Medical Marijuana Act ultimately overcame three gubernatorial vetoes, protecting thousands from arrest.

Nathan Lundy

Born and raised in Oakland, Nate has worked in education from the university to the K-12 level since 2000. Nate’s passion of working with the youth, especially young people from underserved communities of color stems from his time in independent school as a student and not having an adult figure in his life who mirrored his own experience. From this passion grew the idea for The Pact, a peer mentoring programming for K-12 independent school aged students of color that Nate co-founded in 2012. Nate currently serves as the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at San Francisco University High School. Prior to that he was the Dean of Student Life at Live Oak School after 10 years in the admissions and athletics offices at Lick-Wilmerding High School, his alma mater. Nate served on the Board of Directors for People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) for three years, Co-Chair for two, as well as a trustee at The Berkeley School for six years. He is currently a member of the Advancement Committee at Live Oak School. Nate holds a bachelor’s in history from UC Irvine and a master’s in education administration from USF.

Former Board Members

Amie Fishman

Janet Engelbert

Kari Hong

Kendra Ing

Klaira Llerma

Lisa Goldthwaite

Lyzette Bullock

Meredith Ing

Rebecca Kelley

Teodora Ildefonzo-Olmo

Traci Owens

Veronica Martinez

Our Finances

98% of our budget comes from direct service fees billed to courts, agencies, and attorneys for defense investigation and mitigation, with the majority going to staff salaries and wages.

Funding Sources
Annual Total
% of Total
Direct Services
$907,353
98%
Contributions
$18,517
2%
Expenses by Program
Annual Cost
% of Total
Investigation
$463,383
50%
Administration
$228,860
25%
Client/Family Services
$159,206
17%
Internships/Education
$74,421
8%
Hours Expenditure
% of Total
Cases
66%
Admin & Office
23%
Programs
6%
Training
4%
Unknown
1%
Fundraising
1%
PTO
1%

Support

Help us end the death penalty and repair its harm on our communities.
Support
CRI is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization | Tax ID 26-0564961