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BPI's 2015 Annual Dinner

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Video: Scott Budnick and Alex Kotlowitz

Take a look at Scott Budnick and Alex Kotlowitz discussing mentorship, re-entry after prison, and the importance of seeing young people as more than the crime(s) they have committed. 

Scott Budnick

“Scott Budnick is the most extraordinary force in the state of California on badly needed incarceration and justice reform.”
     -Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment


Scott Budnick is the Founder and President of The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), an organization he created in 2013 to stem the flow of young people into the nation’s prisons and jails and improve life opportunities of the formerly incarcerated.

As EVP of Green Hat Films, Mr. Budnick was executive producer of many popular movies, including the highly successful comedy series, The Hangover.  His career trajectory took an unexpected turn to juvenile justice activism, inspired by his personal experience as a volunteer with InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program in LA County’s juvenile halls.

For his efforts to assist youth in the criminal justice system, Gov. Jerry Brown named Mr. Budnick California’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Appointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) in 2013, Mr. Budnick was a driving force behind the enactment of a 2014 California law assuring that juvenile offenders convicted as adults are evaluated for parole within a set timeframe. 

Alex Kotlowitz


Alex Kotlowitz is the author of three books, including the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, and co-producer of the Emmy-winning documentary, The Interrupters. His nonfiction stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and on This American Life.

A writer-in-residence at Northwestern University, his journalism honors include two Peabody awards, two Columbia DuPont Awards, and a George Polk Award. A recipient of eight honorary degrees and the John LaFarge Memorial Award for Interracial Justice given by New York’s Catholic Interracial Council, Mr. Kotlowitz is also the director of the just released You're Not Alone, an anti-violence video produced by Bulls center Joakim Noah that features Bulls stars and Chicago youth sharing stories of how they have been affected by the loss of loved ones to gun violence.

Champions of the Public Interest

Scott Budnick, Founder and President, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (See bio above.)
Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman

Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman

Cheryl Hyman is the Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), Illinois’ largest community college system, where she is leading Reinvention. A partnership with faculty, staff, students, and civic and business communities, Reinvention is designed to ensure that all CCC students successfully graduate prepared for further college and careers. Under Chancellor Hyman's leadership, City Colleges' graduation rate has nearly doubled, and overall credit enrollment has increased by more than 15 percent.

Prior to her appointment in April 2010, Ms. Hyman served as Vice President of Operations Strategy and Business Intelligence at ComEd, an Exelon company. Previously she was appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children who are wards of the Illinois juvenile court system.

A graduate of Olive-Harvey College, Chancellor Hyman holds a BS in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MA in Community Development from North Park University, and an Executive MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Elena Quintana, Ph.D.

Elena Quintana Ph.D.

Dr. Elena Quintana is the Executive Director of the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at Adler University. A clinical and community psychologist, Dr. Quintana's efforts focus on research and programming that aim to reclaim human potential and promote socially just solutions to public safety concerns.  She was recently appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to serve on the newly created Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, which will identify ways to reduce the rate of imprisonment in Illinois.

Dr. Quintana is a Master Trainer Community Resilience Coach devoted to helping communities, agencies, and governments better cope with the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Previously, she was Director of Evaluation for CeaseFire Chicago where she developed shooting response protocols for hospitals and violence prevention efforts for schools.

In 2007, the US Department of Justice honored Dr. Quintana with its Project Safe Neighborhood Award. She holds an MA and PhD in clinical and community psychology from DePaul University.

Recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

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