We need to send a message to the world. Let it be known that the people in our penal institutions are not invisible; they are not to be thrown away. There is redemption that can be had in the lives of every human being. We stand here in solidarity today with Amity Foundation to say that we believe in the power of redemption.”
- Rev. Jeff Carr

Amity’s Amistad de Los Angeles began six years ago with a vision; a vision to create a place of sanctuary for individuals coming out of prison, a home providing a place to re-group and find a new direction. Amity came to Los Angeles with the intent of building strong partnerships, and over the past six years has reached out to the community and the community has reached back in a very significant way. On October 4, 2007, members from Amity Therapeutic Communities throughout California, Arizona, and New Mexico gathered together to acknowledge the friends, partners, donors, resource providers, faith communities, law enforcement agencies, and others who have raised their hands to make this vision a reality. Amity’s Annual Acknowledgment Ceremony celebrates the community partnerships that have been so important, particularly to the residents of Amistad de Los Angeles. Rod Mullen, President and CEO of Amity Foundation presented Certificates of Appreciation to Amistad’s many partners, acknowledging each persons commitment to mending hearts, families, and communities.

A pioneer in the field, and role model for many, Lena Lindsay was honored as she celebrated 50 years of dedicated work helping others to embrace their stories and live a life of dignity and purpose. Through her day by day demonstration, Lena, who arrived at Synanon in 1959, delivered a powerful message of hope and the importance of community in restoring lives.

Representing the thousands of individuals whose lives have been restored through Amity Foundation’s thirty-eight years of providing services, graduates from Amity’s Therapeutic Communities gave voice to each Generation of Hope. Individuals with histories of incarceration, abuse, violence, addiction, and hopelessness expressed their gratitude for the lives they enjoy today and for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. The Amistad de Los Angeles Ceremony concluded with the award winning gospel group CHOSEN. The all female group inspired those in attendance with both story and music.

Rev. Jeff Carr, recently named by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton to be Los Angeles’ first “Gang Czar”, was an honored guest and keynote speaker. As the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Director, Rev. Carr delivered a passionate message of hope and transformation, commending Amity Foundation for six years of re-entry services to the city of Los Angeles.
Other special guests included Keith Johnson, CDCR, Parole and Community Services Division. Johnson spoke of the partnership between Amity Foundation and the PACT program which is a collaborative effort between law enforcement, parolees, and resource providers in the community. In his remarks he stated, “Amity’s been there for us with open arms, providing officers an opportunity to see parolees in different light, and sending the message that there are people out there that are willing to help you.”

Also recognized was Sgt. Evelyn Anderson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Community Transition Unit. In addition to the appreciation expressed by Amity Foundation, Sgt. Anderson received a Commendation from Los Angeles County Sherriff Leroy Baca for her tireless effort and dedication to helping people change their lives. A sworn officer, Sgt. Anderson embraces the idea that people deserve second changes. Her passion and enthusiasm exemplifies the core values necessary to facilitate re-entry and reduce recidivism. Sgt. Anderson praised Amity’s efforts and spirit of collaboration in coordinating efforts for the benefit of those re-entering the community.

Dr. Lewis Yablonski, a UCLA sociologist who conducted groundbreaking research on Therapeutic Communities in the 1960’s and authored the book The Tunnel Back, was an honored guest and speaker at Amity’s acknowledgement ceremony. His work illustrates how by working together to provide the necessary community support along with evidenced based treatment services, a significant proportion of people do change, becoming the vaccine for many of the social problems they once represented.

Author's Bio: 

Rod Mullen is the President/ CEO and Founding Director of Amity Foundation (www.amityfdn.org). Graduating in 1966 from the University of California, Berkeley, Mullen has worked in the treatment field for over 40 years. Although primarily an administrator, he has extensive experience providing counseling, program design and implementation, conducting workshops and retreats within Amity, and providing training and consultation for other agencies. Mullen is the director and videographer of numerous video productions, author of extensive publications, and has presented and lectured both nationally and internationally on a variety of subjects related to treatment and the Therapeutic Community.

Additional Resources on Intervention can be found at:

Website Directory for Intervention
Articles on Intervention
Products for Intervention
Discussion Board
Debra Norton, The Official Guide to Intervention