Sam Lewis

Executive Director, Anti-Recidivism Coalition

A man in a black suit and pin that says ARC

Sam Lewis is the Executive Director of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Previously, Sam served as the Director of Inside Programs.

A former life prisoner himself, Sam understands the various obstacles, challenges, and difficulties the prison and reentry populations face. In 2017, Sam created the Hope And Redemption Team (HART), a first-of-its-kind initiative he built from scratch. The Hope & Redemption Team (HART) was a group of nine former California life prisoners who go back into California state prisons to provide hope, demonstrate that redemption is achievable, and prepare participants for successful reentry into our communities. The Hope And Redemption Team is now a statewide program that is offered in every Prison.  Sam’s work directing the Hope and Redemption Team exemplifies what’s best about ARC: our desire to reach and walk with those who have been most marginalized by society.

Since 2015, on most Saturdays, Sam can be found leading a team of Credible Messenger Mentors who support youth currently housed at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall. These youths are facing potentially long prison sentences. These unique mentors are trained in Transformative Mentoring and use a peer-to-peer Credible Messenger model to encourage incarcerated youth to believe in themselves and pursue their education while incarcerated.  Through the Department of Youth Development, this model has now been adopted, and ARC Credible Messengers work full-time in Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall and Campus Kilpatrick mentoring incarcerated youth.

Sam previously worked with Friends Outside Los Angeles County (FOLA) as Job Specialist, Case Manager, Employment Programs Supervisor, and Project Director, roles that reinforced his commitment to creating opportunities for formerly incarcerated men and women as they transition back into society. In 2018, Sam was the recipient of a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award, Uncommon Law’s Uncommon Heroes Award, and the 2019 Danger Man Award.