Juvenile Justice Commission Members
Kimberly Alan is an attorney and former San Diego federal prosecutor. Ms. Allan received her Bachelor's degree in economics with honors from UC Berkeley and her law degree from UC Davis. She was an attorney at the US Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. for over seven years and an Assistant US Attorney in San Diego for over nine years. She has served on several boards and commissions, including as President of the Coronado Schools Foundation and on the board of the Coronado Cays Homeowners Association. Her interest in juvenile justice is based on her service as a Board Member and Site Coordinator for the San Diego Juvenile Court Book Club. During over 10 years of monthly meetings with incarcerated youth for book club discussions, high school graduation ceremonies and educational scholarship awards, she has witnessed firsthand the enormous challenges facing these young people. Ms. Allan currently practices estate planning law and lives in Coronado with her husband and daughter.
Marcus Curtis is an attorney and current law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Georgetown University, and Yale Law School. While at Yale, Mr. Curtis was a managing editor of the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, and taught constitutional law to public high school students as part of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Prior to law school, Mr. Curtis worked as a China intelligence analyst at the Pentagon and served as an officer in the Marine Corps.
Alfredo Guzman grew up in a family that fostered a child in the delinquency/dependency system. He is interested in working with stakeholders in the juvenile justice community to reduce the number of delinquency/dependency youth in San Diego and create programs to help ensure their future success. Alfredo is a former Jr. ROTC Team Leader and is currently working on his B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University and participating in pre-Police Academy training for a future career in law enforcement.
Yvette D. Klepin is a life-long San Diego County resident and has more than 26 years’ experience with the County of San Diego Probation Department; retiring as Assistant Chief Probation Officer. Yvette's is experienced in program and personnel development and in developing and guiding policy. She has more than 12 years’ experience in juvenile institutions. Yvette remains active in the Criminal Justice field consulting and providing training.
Amy Lansing is on faculty at the University of California, San Diego, in the School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and is also an adjunct professor in the Sociology Department, Division of Criminology, at San Diego State University. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with specializations in Neuropsychology, Developmental Trauma and Forensic Epidemiology. Her National Institute of Health and National Institute of Child and Human Development funded translational research program is dedicated to understanding the neurobehavioral underpinnings of high-risk behaviors and functional impairment in underserved populations such as juvenile delinquents and maltreated youth. This program integrates neuroscience technologies (imaging, genetics), mental health services (treatment for trauma spectrum and drug/alcohol disorders; interventions for violence and impulsivity reduction), neuropsychology, criminology and public policy issues (health disparities, HIV/STD risk). In addition to the Juvenile Justice Commission, she is an independent contractor for the State of California, providing assessments of mentally disordered adult offenders. Her interest in the JJC stems from the significant number of delinquent youth with cognitive deficits, neurological and mental health needs.
Kiley Lizama is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Since receiving her Master’s Degree in 2013, Kiley has become trained in various forms of trauma treatment, including but not limited to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), TIR (Trauma Incident Reduction), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Kiley has worked with children and adolescents with special needs in a school based setting providing clinical support both to the students and their families. Kiley collaborated with various school professionals to help determine appropriate goals for the students, and educate school staff on best practices for working with special needs students in their classrooms. Kiley joined the JJC in an effort to better understand the causes of recidivism within the systems in place, and advocate for the rights and opportunities for San Diego's incarcerated youth. Kiley currently works as a clinician in South San Diego working with Commercially and Sexually Exploited children and adult Survivors of Human Trafficking.
Ezak Marquez is a queer non-binary Latinx from San Diego. Ezak is a clinical counseling graduate student at San Diego State University in the Community-Based Block program focusing on multicultural social justice counseling. Ezak currently works at a low-cost clinic providing therapy to City Heights and local San Diego communities, focusing on queer and transgender people. Ezak previously worked with the STARS program at San Diego Youth Services providing counseling and case management services to survivors of human trafficking. Ezak also worked with survivors of sex trafficking and homeless youth in New York City. Ezak's pronouns are they, them, and theirs.
Jenifer Mendel, DPS is a 34-year veteran in the education system, currently serving in the capacity of Coordinator of Child Welfare and Attendance for the Grossmont Union High School District in San Diego County. She is responsible for McKinney Vento, Foster Youth and Military Youth. She also is the S.A.R.B. Chairperson for the District, oversees the Dropout Prevention Program, and is the Truancy Court liaison. She currently serves on the following: State S.A.R.B, San Diego County Behavior Health Advisory Board, CASCWA Board Southern Section as President Elect, San Diego County Collaborative Committee on Truancy and is a member of San Diego County’s “Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court” team.
Ramon Montaño Marquez
Ramon Montaño Marquez is a young, motivated, indigenous man from the Kickapoo, Kumeyaay, and Pa'Ipai tribal nations. Dedicated to world equity and fair and just processes, Ramon advocates for Juvenile, Community, Restorative, Educational and Social Justice and Policy. A proud community advocate who believes that we need to put children and community first, Ramon is an active voice for the implementation of County-Wide Restorative Justice within San Diego and sits on the Steering Committee of the Restorative Community Conferencing Pilot Program and works for students rights and educational equity. Ramon currently works as the Coordinator for Student Support and Restorative Justice at King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools at Preparatory Academy.
Ramon has been recognized for his work in education advocacy and serves as a Teacher Candidate Advisor to the National Council on Teacher Quality, Board Trustee of the Global Campaign for Education-U.S., Youth Panel Commissioner to the U.N. International Education Commission, Co-Chair of the Peace Promotion Momentum Team of Mid-City CAN and Co-Chair of Education Working Group of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Ramon has served as a Fellow for the U.S. Human Right Network, RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund and the Global Campaign for Education-U.S.
Meagan Nuñez is an attorney who has devoted her legal practice to helping parents of disabled children who are fighting for a meaningful education for their children. Meagan is on the board of the Disabled Services Advisory Council where she volunteers her time to promote access to recreational activities for people with disabilities. Prior to attending law school, Meagan graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Meagan then gained valuable experience teaching English as a foreign language and later working with students with emotional difficulties. When not working, Meagan spends her time with her husband and two young children.
Sarah Pauter is the founder and CEO of Phenomenal Families, a nonprofit organization that provides pregnant and parenting youth in foster care and juvenile probation access to education and other resources which promote healthy relationships, sexual development, and positive parenting skills. After spending 17 years in the child welfare system before ultimately emancipating, Sarah earned a Bachelor’s in Social Work from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. Sarah has dedicated her life and career to improving outcomes for vulnerable children and youth, even testifying before Congress and the California Senate on mental health treatment options for young people in foster care. Prior to launching Phenomenal Families, Sarah was the Program Director of the Family & Youth Roundtable where she developed and enhanced public child-serving systems through policy formulation and implementation. Her efforts were recognized by the San Diego County Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council which honored her with their annual STARS award. In addition to her membership on the San Diego County Juvenile Justice Commission, Sarah also serves on the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council and the California Pathways to Well-Being Community Team. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys baking cakes and visiting dog beach with her husband, son, and Yorkshire Terrier.
Lynn Sharpe-Underwood is a Principal Lecturer in the Criminal Justice Systems Department at Alliant International University. She has worked with youth organizations for over 20 years. She was the Chief Operating Officer of the Haven Program, a 36-bed Salvation Army Transitional Living Center Program, and the Business and Community Liaison for the San Diego Job Corps. Ms. Sharpe-Underwood was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders as Executive Director of the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention for the City of San Diego in 2007. The 20 member Commission worked with communities all over the city to facilitate the development of programs like the Youth Development Office, the San Diego Compassion Project, and the Community Assistance Support Team. Through Ms. Sharpe-Underwood’s many collaborations, the Commission had an effective impact on gang violence and youth becoming involved in gangs. Now retired, Ms. Sharpe-Underwood continues to work with organizations that focus on youth such as: Community Mentors, Wrap Around, Project Aware, Harmonium, CAST, the Opportunity Network and the San Diego Compassion Project along with the District Attorney’s Community Youth Court. She and her husband, Thom Underwood, love kayaking and long walks - the West Highland Way, the Camino de Santiago and the Appalachian Trail. They have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren.
Tezeru Teshome is playwright, dramaturge, director, and performer. She’s a third year PhD student in Theatre & Dance at UCSD. Her research interests include psychoanalysis, Social Death, and Black Feminist Theory. She is the recipient of the San Diego Diversity Fellowship and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Amharic (Ethiopia’s native language). She holds a B.S. in History and Theatre Studies and has extensively taught dramatic writing and American History throughout Chicago. She also served as the coordinator of Chicago’s first Youth Advisory Board, which worked in tandem with the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. She also served as one of two Youth Representatives for President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper”.
Edward Weiner is a retired San Diego Federal prosecutor, a member of the San Diego Behavioral Health Advisory Board (previously the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board), and a former member of the 2013-2014 San Diego County Grand Jury. He is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law School and holds an advanced law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. For 27 years, Mr. Weiner was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego and before that was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a Deputy District Attorney handling juvenile matters in Kern County (Bakersfield), California. Mr. Weiner has served on the Board and as President of his homeowners association for 12 years. He is married to a retired teacher, has one son (also a UCLA Law graduate) and two grandchildren.