"Being in the cell for 24 hours a day, I had plenty of time to think and really want to make that change..."
After losing his brother to gang violence, during his incarceration William Lopez began to turn his life around through education. He worked to receive his G.E.D and eventually acquired numerous A.A degrees -- all while behind bars. Towards the end of his sentence, Lopez met Scott Budnick, the producer of the Hangover movies and a prison reform advocate. "He helps individuals while they are in prison, once they come out," Lopez states of Budnick. "Jobwise, mentorship, pretty much supports you all the way through."
Watch JJIE's interview with Lopez at the 2013 MacArthur Models for Change Conference:
Now, Lopez is out and works alongside Budnick as a member of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He says, "This is the beginning, I'm grateful to be home, everyday is great for me, I'm so happy to be here."Videography by David Kindler. Watch more JJIE video interviews from the 2013 Models for Change Conference: