California Governor Acknowledges GOGI
In Rehabilitative Successes


• August 2018 Commutation of Sentence — Christopher Herrera

During almost eight years in prison, Mr. Herrera stopped associating with gangs and has committed himself to turning his life around. He is now 26 years old, has earned his GED, and is pursuing an A.A. degree. In 2017, Senator Andy Vidak, Assemblymember Vince Fong, and Congressman David Valadao each recognized Mr. Herrera for his completion of Bakersfield College courses in the Inmate Scholars program. Mr. Herrera routinely receives exceptional work ratings as a literacy tutor. One 2017 work report noted his “calm and understanding nature” and commended him for his passion for “not only enriching his own knowledge, but for showing, teaching and encouraging others to grow academically as welL” The report concluded, “He has continued to be a positive role model for all students and encourages and challenges students to better themselves through knowledge and education.” Mr. Herrera has also participated in self-help programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Getting Out by Going In, and currently volunteers with a youth diversion program. When he is released, he plans to stay away from his old neighborhood; he reported that he will live with his mother and hopes to start his own business using skills he has developed in prison. Link to .pdf

• August 2018 Commutation of Sentence — Jarrett Harper

Mr. Harper is now 35 years old and has been incarcerated for almost two decades. He has only been disciplined four times during that time, and has
never been involved with drugs or gangs. He earned his high school diploma and several vocational certifications, including one in paralegal studies. Mr. Harper has participated in numerous self-help classes including Victim Sensitivity Awareness, Anger Management, Getting Out by Going In, and Creative Conflict Resolution. He has also facilitated multiple groups for other inmates. In 2017, a correctional sergeant commended Mr. Harper for his dedication to Lancaster’s Progressive Programming Facility and wrote, “He participates in numerous self help groups and peer to peer classes, both as a student and a facilitator, working to improve himself while prOViding a positive example to his fellow inmates… If the opportunity to return to society were ever given, I believe that Inmate Harper would be a model citizen.” In 2014, one of Mr. Harper’s supervisors wrote, “I have been a correctional officer for over 20 years and I’ve rarely come across an inmate with such a positive attitude as Mr. Harper…. if Inmate Harper were to be released, I would feel safe with having him as my next-door neighbor.” Mr. Harper’s fiancee, brother, and friends plan to help support him if he is released. Link to .pdf

• August 2018 Commutation of Sentence — Thomas Joseph Yackley

Mr. Yackley has been incarcerated for over 26 years and is now 48 years old. There is no doubt that Mr. Yackley has made a serious transformation within prison. He was last disciplined for misconduct 16 years ago. Mr. Yackley has resided on the honor yard since 2003. He earned his GED, is currently enrolled in college classes, and completed vocational training in janitorial services. Mr. Yackley routinely receives exceptional work ratings from his supervisors and participates in Paws For Life, a program that trains rescue dogs. Mr. Yackley participated in self-help programs, including Anger Management, Getting Out by Going In, and Convicts Reaching Out to People. He completed American Sign Language classes and donated artwork to charity. Link to .pdf