Until he relocated to Tucson, AZ at the end of 2019 to focus on prison and reentry ministry, Fred was the lead pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, a multisite congregation located in Park Ridge and Chicago, Illinois. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Lutheran Church Planters Network, created to help train and network church planters across the country. A former missionary in Bangladesh and an expert in Christian-Muslim relations, Fred has been involved in prison ministry since 2005 as a volunteer chaplain at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois, including founding the Under the Door Prison Ministry, writing the Spiritual Survival Guide for Prison and Beyond, and crafting RED Chicago, a reentry directory for the Chicago area.
He is the founder and executive director of the Inside Out Network, dedicated to crafting innovative solutions to connect returning citizens with service providers, churches, and ministries, as well as to connect those serving on the inside in prison ministry with those outside who are working on reentry challenges. Because of Christ’s call and claim on his life, Fred sees himself fundamentally as a change-agent – an agent of Christ’s life-changing hope and joy – to everyone he meets, but especially to those who are feeling hopeless or disconnected. He has a passion for networking, coaching, hiking in the desert, and Indian food. Fred and his wife Carol have four grown sons between them.
I was born and raised in Fountain Hills, Arizona until I attended Arizona State University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. About one year ago, I became a volunteer for the Arizona Department of Corrections; I helped host activities at Perryville Prison several times per month. Working with the women at the prison made me even more passionate about wanting to assist with their transitions upon release. I am currently a graduate student at ASU and I am pursuing my Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. I am excited to work to improve the re-entry process throughout Illinois- I hope to use my education and experiences to help returning citizens reintegrate to society and I look forward to doing this through Inside Out Network.
Hello! My name is Miranda Campos. I am a Tucson, Arizona native and have lived here the majority of my life. I have always loved our close-knit community and am grateful to have such a welcoming environment to raise my son in. I am eager to give back to our community and look forward to contributing to the development of resources for our citizens. My hobbies include reading, guitar, and family time. I received my Associate Degree of Science in Administration of Justice from Pima Community College, here in Tucson. I hold a Bachelor Degree of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University. Currently, I am working on a Master Degree of Science in Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. (I may have attended outside colleges, but I am a Wildcat at heart!)
Through much of her childhood, Sara lived in northern Alabama with her parents and three siblings. When she was 16 years old, her family moved to San Francisco, CA. She graduated from high school in the CA bay area and went on to the University of California, Davis to earn her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. At UC Davis, she met her now-husband Aneel Trivedi. In 2001, after graduating from college and getting married (both events separated by only one week—this was intentional so as to allow her family to travel once to be a part of both events), Sara and Aneel moved to Los Angeles. Until their oldest child Noah was born in 2004, Sara worked as an office administrator in the UCLA Math Department, and later, as an accountant at the same university. Their family then traveled to Alabama so Aneel could attend graduate school at Auburn University. During their short time in Alabama, their second child Ethan was born. A job opportunity for Aneel brought the family to Chicago in 2008. Sara spent much of her children’s early lives volunteering in various roles in their elementary and middle schools (a personal favorite: the school library). For the past four years, she has worked part-time as the office manager at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, IL, where she currently lives with her husband and two children. She looks forward to being a part of ION and helping returning citizens obtain the resources they need to lead successful lives.
I have lived in Arizona for the majority of my life and currently attend Arizona State University. I have received my Bachelors Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and am currently working towards a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Working alongside the community and positively making an impact has always been my passion. For the duration of this internship, I look forward to becoming more familiar with ION while also gaining knowledge and experience.
Candy Gamboa was born April 21st, 1993 in Los Angeles, California. Immediately upon graduating high school in 2011, she left for The United States Army’s Basic Combat Training. In her ten-year military career, she had two deployments and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. Candy is currently pursuing a degree in Criminology at Arizona State University. Her hobbies and interests include traveling, running, and swimming.
Hello, my name is Ariana. I am a junior at Arizona State University. I will be majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a Bachelors in Science and a minor in communications. I transferred from Glendale Community College where I obtained my Associate degree in Arts. I truly believe that education is a very important factor in our lives, however, I respect those who believe otherwise. I am truly looking forward to working beside the Inside Out Network to help to return inmates into society.
Ashley was born and raised right outside Yosemite National Park in California. It was there that she discovered a passion for finding alternatives to youth incarceration while facilitating a high ropes course team building session with incarcerated youth. She is seeking a career in Juvenile Probation, passionate about making a difference in the lives of youth, their families, and the community. By utilizing good communication skills, being approachable, practicing empathy, and being transparent, she is confident in assisting youth in fostering responsibility, self-worth and hope for a successful future. As she finishes her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University this year, she looks forward to bringing these same goals to our organization, assisting citizens with reentry and gaining a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system.
Hello! My name is Bryanna Thatcher. I currently reside in Yorktown, Virginia. I am attending Arizona State University online to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by everything within the criminal justice system. I am most passionate about becoming an advocate for juveniles who are in the system and hope to help them reenter society with positive experiences and influences around them that will lead towards a successful career path. Helping people has always been a passion of mine and I am very excited to be part of the Inside-Out Network to help in any way I can!
Hello! My name is Katelyn but I also go by Kk. I was born and raised in southern California and moved to Phoenix three years ago for college. I am an undergraduate senior majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I plan to get my Master’s after as well. I grew up with my mom working in law so I was always in that type of environment. We used to always watch crime documentaries, which sparked my interest. I now have a passion for social justice, prison reform, reentry, and many others. I am so excited for this internship and to be able to reach out, make a difference, and help so many people.
I was born and raised in the U.K. where I became an English Chartered Accountant in 1960. Having qualified in what is now Grant Thornton I left the profession to go into industry where I have remained until retirement. I have worked in a number of industries over the years completing my career as CFO and partner in an international wastepaper company based on the south side of Chicago.
In my faith life I have been a member of the Church of England and Methodist Church in the U.K. On coming to the US in 1983, I joined the Lutheran Church where Carla and I were married. We remained Lutherans after our move to Park Ridge joining Redeemer Lutheran Church some 30 years. I held a number of positions within the congregation, including being President of the Congregation when Pastors Fred Nelson and Carol Breimeier were called. I also served as Treasurer of the ELCA Deaconess Community.
Carla and I have one son. We spend half the year in Naples, Florida which allows me to pursue my love of golfing pretty much all year round.
Jerry Blassingame is the Founder and CEO of Soteria Community Development Corporation. He endeavors to empower individuals and the community through education, affordable housing, financial literacy, community and economic development, and entrepreneurship. His passion is assisting individuals who have been incarcerated through reentry and helping them to become productive citizens.
Jerry attended Columbia International University and studied architectural engineering at Greenville Technical College. Jerry received a 20 year prison sentence in 1995 and only served 3 1/2 years after being paroled in 1999. He is also a Social Entrepreneur who believes in social enterprise for the non-profit sector. Jerry has continued to fight for change in legislation since he was granted a pardon in 2004. After 14 years of advocacy, South Carolina passed its first legislation to expunge felony drug charges in December of 2018. In 2018, Jerry published his first book, Reclaimed, a memoir that details his story from tragedy to triumph. Jerry lives in Greenville South Carolina with his wife, Stephanie of 20 years and 3 of their 6 kids. He is an active part of the community and an advocate for economic and social justice.
Jack retired with 30 years of service from the State of Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Most of his career with the state was as a prison warden where he served in that capacity at three facilities. Upon retirement in 1996 he joined the staff of Prison Fellowship Ministries where he served as National Director of Operations for the InnerChange Freedom Initiative establishing reentry programs in Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota. Through IFI a model was established which vastly reduces the rate that inmates released from prison re-offend. As the National Director for Prisons & Re-Entry with Alpha USA since 2004 his primary function is to link faith-based and community organizations with correctional facilities to reduce recidivism and thereby increase public safety.
Jack consults nationally and internationally regarding criminal justice issues to include testifying before Congress and was previously appointed to an 8-year term by the US Attorney General to the Advisory Board of the National Institute of Corrections. He earned his Bachelors of Science from Oklahoma State University in Sociology as well as a Masters of Science in Correctional Administration. He completed his course work toward his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Organizational Leadership.
Jack and his wife Mel live in Wichita Falls, Texas and are thoroughly enjoying life.
Evan Freund is a retired health care executive with 25 years’ experience managing inner-city health care services and ambulatory care systems in New York and Chicago. He has held leadership positions in trade organizations, has served as a board member and Chair of Ancona School, and is Treasurer of Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund. He is currently Board Chair of Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, a behavioral care agency serving children and adults. He took an M.B.A. in hospital administration from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, focusing on public administration. Evan is a Life Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Evan has resided with his wife, Nan, in Chicago for 48 years. He and Nan intentionally chose to live in diverse communities for their entire married life. Their two sons, Max and Alex, both live in Los Angeles with their families. Nan is an educational therapist; whose office is in their home on the south side of Chicago. She is a past President of the Association of Educational Therapists, and a national leader in her profession.
Evan has a strong interest in international politics and world federation as well as reentry of rejoined citizens. He has become a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform in Illinois, working with major coalitions of advocates for legislative and system reform. He founded the Interfaith Criminal Justice Task Force to advocate for legislative reforms in criminal justice and is member of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, the founding Rotary Club of Rotary International.
Rev. David Hanson was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2000. He served congregations in Wilmette and Wheaton, both in Illinois, and served on the Stewardship Committee of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod and on the Board of Trustees of the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA. He retired from parish ministry in 2015 and relocated to Vero Beach, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Connie.
Prior to attending seminary and entering ordained ministry, Rev. Hanson worked for 22 years with J.P. Morgan, primarily in the areas of corporate finance and investment banking. In addition to New York, he worked in the firm’s offices in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Rev. Hanson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Princeton University, and a master of divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Philip Hirsch is the Executive Director of Domestic Mission (USA) for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The unit he leads helps to start new churches and ministries including prison ministries across the United States. They work to develop leadership and candidacy, relate to ELCA seminaries and colleges, develop youth and young adult ministries including the national youth gathering, multicultural ministries, Lutheran Disaster Response, Hunger, ministry among the poor, advocacy, disability ministries, stewardship. He is on the Board of Directors for the Lutheran Services in America.
Pastor Hirsch graduated from Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove PA in Sociology and Psychology and received a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. He completed a unit of Clinical Pastor Education in the Washington State Correctional Facility, Shelton, WA. He earned a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio in preaching with a focus on alleviating violence among youth in the inner city. Pastor Hirsch was assistant to the bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod. He was pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax, VA 2000-2009 and of Christus, Epiphany, Grace, La Trinidad and New Life Lutheran Churches in Camden, NJ 1990-2000. He was Vice President of the Camden Lutheran Housing and President of Dooley House, a series of homes for sick children and their families. He was a leader in Camden Churches Organized for People, a church-based community organizing effort that brought millions of dollars to the city for housing, safety and job creating businesses.
He is married to Dana M. T. Hirsch and they have three adult sons. He is a cabinet maker and enjoys bicycling, hiking, skiing and photography. He and Dana live in Chicago, IL.
John McLees is a retired partner of law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP and an activist in connecting citizens with organizations and initiatives dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system and to improving the lives of those who are incarcerated or who have been released from jail or from prison.
He maintains a website, at http://incarcerationreform.com/, with information about resources for learning about the criminal justice system and opportunities for citizens to get involved in confronting the moral crisis of mass incarceration. John is also active in several organizations that work to pressure the United States and Israel to honor the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Aneel is currently a seminary student at Wartburg Theological Seminary and worked for ION as the assistant director in 2018 and 2019. Prior to entering the seminary in 2018, Aneel had a long career in sports media and holds an undergraduate degree in statistics as well as an MBA. Aneel lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.