Daniel Jenkins is currently a Deputy in the Sheriffs Department. He received his BA in Psychology from National University in 2008 and his MS in Criminal Justice from Kaplan University in 2011. Daniel is the Executive Director and co-founder of Life Beyond Freedom. He has worked the majority of his professional career in social and behavioral modification and services, as well as in the criminal justice field.
Daniel focused primarily on the rehabilitation aspects of the criminal justice system during his Masters program, which included: comparative penology and contemporary issues in criminal justice systems. His background in Psychology gave him the passion to help people create change in their lives, and to help create change in a society with an overwhelming large and growing criminal population. Daniel currently resides in Fresno, California with his beautiful wife, daughters and 4 dogs.
Alicia Samis, the co-founder of Life Beyond Freedom, is a Psychology Instructor at Foothill College, and is the Interim Assistant Director of Student Conduct & Ethical Development at San Jose State University. In 2013, she volunteered with the Northern California Innocence Project and assisted two exonerees with re-entry after their release from prison. In 2014, she co-founded Life Beyond Freedom to provide formal assistance to future exonerees. While achieving her Master of Arts in Social Psychology at San Francisco State University, she managed the Psychology and Law Lab. She researched juror comprehension of instructions given during the penalty phase of capital cases.
Ms. Samis offers guest lectures on topics including causes of wrongful conviction, jury decision making, social identity, and mental health topics. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Above and Beyond Award at San Jose State University, Quantitative Award, Honorable Mention at California State University Northridge, and First Place in the Annual Psychology Research Competition at California State University Northridge.
Master of Arts, Social Psychology, May 2007 – San Francisco State University, CA
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, June 2005 – California State University, Northridge, CA
Areas of Specialization
Social Psychology, Jury Decision Making, Wrongful Conviction, Death Penalty, Eyewitness Identification, Mental Health First Aid
Jack Cummings and his family’s lives were forever changed when the phone rang one day in June 1984. A friend had been arrested for child molestation. The incredible chain of events that followed, including allegations of Satanism and murder, led to the convictions of over 35 innocent people with sentences up to 450 years and the destruction of dozens of families. The 3 Cummings children were taken as witnesses and it took a year to win them back in juvenile court.
Eventually the convictions were overturned, the last one after 20 years. There were many lawsuits, some successful, some not. Much of this was documented in the movie “Witch Hunt” by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, (with invaluable help from Sean Penn), which highlights the Northern California Innocence Project’s tireless efforts to seek justice, and the ordeals that the wrongfully accused and their families endured. The film’s success brought many people together with a bond that still exists and helped inspire many more people to improve the Justice system and work to free the innocent. Jack is currently on the Board of Directors as the treasurer and co-founder of Life Beyond Freedom. Incredibly, Jack still resides in Bakersfield California with his wife of 34 years, 2 grandchildren and their dog Lucky.
Maurice Anthwone Caldwell was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and is 47 years old. In 1989, a drug-related murder occurred in the San Francisco housing project where he lived. That day, Maurice became a secondary victim of the murderer, as he was arrested and tried for the crime he did not commit. Due to false and coerced witness testimony, the court convicted him and sentenced him to “27 years to life” in state prison, where he spent the next twenty years.
While the fear of never coming home was overwhelming, Maurice maintained his innocence as he survived the dangers of penitentiary life. He spent countless hours in the legal library. After years of writing letters and reaching out, Maurice finally made contact with an investigator who believed in his innocence. This led to more witnesses who testified on Maurice’s behalf and exposed the real killer. Ultimately, the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) became involved, blessing Maurice with a team of law students who worked full time on his case. Together they fought for Maurice and regained his freedom. Maurice served 20 years, 6 months and 7 days in prison. Upon his release, he had no job, no money, no home and no help reintegrating into society. Again, he persevered.
Maurice has been out of prison for 4 years now. He has traded the horrors of penitentiary life for the joys of family life. As a first-time father of 16-month old boy, he has created a stable home with a very loving, supportive, special lady, their son, and her 5-year old daughter.
Maurice has committed his life to speaking out against wrongful convictions and their subsequent incarcerations. He brings great awareness to the issues that cause injustice within the legal system. He works to educate society on the needs of exonorees, as they transition into life beyond freedom. He knows first-hand that there are little to no resources or compensation for exonorees after they regain their freedom.
Now on the Board of Directors for Life Beyond Freedom (LBF), Maurice is a mentor and first point of contact for the newly exonerated. He promotes meaningful programs and non-profit organizations like NCIP and LBF, which focus on helping others and bettering society.
Maurice is very grateful for all the wonderful people in his life. He feels honored to be part of the support system that restores independence and justice to fellow exonorees. His life experience has given him essential insight and compassion into what it takes to create LIFE BEYOND FREEDOM!
Born and raised in New York, writer/director Dana Nachman’s films, Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, Witch Hunt, Love Hate Love and The Human Experiment have premiered and screened at Toronto, Tribeca, Slamdance and IDFA Film Festivals.
She has won numerous prizes including 3 Emmy Awards, The Edward R Murrow Award, and numerous Jury and Audience Awards at US film festivals.
Nachman’s films have been seen by millions of people on various networks including MSNBC, the Oprah Winfrey Network and PBS.
Nachman graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with a dual degree in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations. She received a Master’s Degree from NYU in Broadcast Journalism.
Nachman is a guest journalism lecturer at Stanford University. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three children.
Our mission is to create opportunities for the exonerated and give them a fair chance at true freedom and success after they so wrongfully had it taken from them. Exonerees who finish our program will obtain sustainable jobs, create community, foster healthy social relationships and gain the skills necessary to fulfill their dreams."