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.
For youth in underserved San Diego neighborhoods, Francisco Carbajal is a turnaround specialist. He has a gift for diverting at-risk youth away from the juvenile justice system and toward a path to educational achievement and community leadership. Francisco is the Director of Alternative Juvenile Justice at the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and manages the Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) Program as part of the organization’s celebrated “Avoiding the Pipeline to Prison” initiative. With strong support from regional law enforcement and education leaders, the “Pipeline” program has kept many local youths in school and out of prison, and it has helped San Diego neighborhoods and families become stronger. Working out of NCRC’s City Heights field office and its Center for Community Cohesion in Southeast San Diego, Francisco has helped position San Diego as a pioneer in the field of restorative justice.
Maya De La Torre
Maya De La Torre is a current student at the University of San Diego majoring in behavioral neuroscience with a minor in sociology. On campus, she practices activism through her role as Speaker of the Associated Student Government Senate, president of the Association of Chicanx Activists, and educator bringing awareness to identities such as sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, and class through the Rainbow Educator program. In the broader San Diego community, she has interned with the Children's Advocacy Institute and works with detained youth through the Reading Legacies nonprofit organization. She is passionate about addressing the school and foster care-to-prison pipeline, gaps in mental health care, recidivism, and systemic inequality within the juvenile justice system.
Dr. Darwin Fishman is currently working as a Lecturer for the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland-College Park, an M.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Social Science) from the San Francisco State University and a B.A. degree in Sociology from University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Continuing the Conversation on Race and Activist San Diego. He is also the Co-Founder of the Racial Justice Coalition. He has served as a Board Member on the Community Review Board on Police Practices for San Diego city. Dr. Fishman loves to give back to his community through service work and community organizing.
Denise Green, a native of San Diego has her Associates of Arts and Science in Criminal Justice from Grossmont College. She later went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Applied Arts in Criminal Justice, graduation in honors from San Diego State University. She currently works for the state of California as a Field Representative for Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber Ph.D. In her spare time, she is the Vice President of We Are Here Daygo, whose mission is to celebrate and protect humanity by providing food, necessities, and other assistance to the poor, addicted, abused, and homeless. As the Secretary of Association of African American Educators, she provides academic support advocacy to students throughout San Diego County. She is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Black Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (BWILD). As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Denise has the privilege of supporting and promoting healthy relationships for abused or neglected children to provide them with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes. Her desire to be an active member in her community drives her aspirations to help the underserved children throughout San Diego county.
Dayanira Heredia is currently an undergraduate student at UC San Diego, working towards her B.S. in clinical psychology with a minor in global health. She is a registered Behavior Technician who will be working with children with Autism. Ms. Heredia has also collaborated with schools and youth centers to help implement restorative practices for K-12 students. She is passionate about the importance of mental healthcare for all and plans to one day have her own clinic to provide psychological interventions for kids and teenagers. Her interest in the JJC lies in the emotional trauma many juveniles in the justice system are victims of. Ms. Heredia advocates for high-quality mental healthcare resources for all minors in the correction system in order to successfully heal and shift their lives for the better.
Deme Hill is a long-term advocate to the government and social services systems throughout California, Nevada, Hawaii and Washington DC. She has completed 14 years of education, holding AS, BS, and MA while currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Administration from CalBaptist University. Deme has managed government programs funded by The US Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Department of Health & Human Services, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Department of Mental Health, and Department of Housing & Urban Development. Her programs have received local awards, national awards and international recognition; she is duly known as a dedicated, charismatic and reputable community leader.
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 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.
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.
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.
Jean Teresa Ramirez
Jean Teresa Ramirez was an attorney with the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office before joining the full-time faculty of the University of San Diego School of Law in 1990. Upon joining the faculty, she taught Advanced Trial Advocacy and was co-director of the law school’s Juvenile Defense Clinic, also known as the Criminal Clinic. She teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, California Criminal Litigation Skills, and Juvenile Law. In the fall of 2020, she completed her training as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and reports to the Juvenile Court regarding individual children and sibling groups in the juvenile dependency courts.
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.