Standing Committee on Gang Issues Membership


PAULINO G. DURAN. Mr. Durán has over three decades of legal experience working in the Public Defender’s Offices in the Counties of San Francisco and Marin; the District Attorney’s Office in the County of Alameda; the State Public Defender’s Office in San Francisco, and as an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, in San Francisco for 13½ years. Most recently, Mr. Durán has served as the Public Defender in Sacramento County since his appointment in May 1993. Mr. Durán is a recent past president of the California Pubic Defender’s Association, is a co-founder of the California Council of Chief Defenders, and is also on the Management/Leadership Committee for the National Legal Aid and Defender’s Association. Currently, he serves on the Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Trafficking and Slavery and on the McGeorge School of Law’s program on National Security Law and Policy for Citizen Leadership. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Francisco in 1972, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco in 1975.

LADONNA HARRIS. Chief Harris began her career with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in 1980 as a Deputy Sheriff. She promoted through the ranks to Division Commander. As a Division Commander, Chief Harris was assigned to Detention and Corrections, and oversaw two jails housing more than 4,000 inmates. In collaboration with the TriValley Regional Occupational Program, Inmate Services conducted a wide variety of educational and vocational programs. Most notably, three programs focused on parenting; Teaching and Loving Kids (TALK), Dads Acquiring and Developing Skills (DADS), and Maximizing Opportunities for Mothers to Succeed (MOMS). After working 30 years with the Sheriff’s Office, Chief Harris retired. She was called out of retirement in March 2012 and is currently serving as the Chief Probation Officer in Alameda County. She is responsible for overseeing 18,000 probationers, 620 staff, and a $93 million budget. Chief Harris received a Master of Arts degree in Leadership from St. Mary’s College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.

JORJA LEAP, Ph.D. Dr. Leap is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has conducted numerous evaluations of anti-gang programs including the ABC Unified School District Safe Schools Healthy Students Violence Prevention Program, Communities in Schools Gang Intervention Program. In 2008, Dr. Leap and Dr. Todd Franke initiated a two-year longitudinal evaluation of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the United States. In 2010, they subsequently received funding through Homeboy Industries (HBI) to evaluate the HBI-Los Angeles County Gang Intervention and Re-entry Project. These efforts will be expanded to ultimately follow the Homeboy program for five years, and will be the first longitudinal research study of anti-gang efforts ever completed. Dr. Leap is the author of numerous evaluation reports, articles and books such as, “No One Knows Their Names”, and “Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me About Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption.”

WILFREDO “WILL” LOPEZ. Mr. Lopez was born to a single immigrant mother with five kids and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He was part of a very normal, dysfunctional family. When he was 11, he joined a gang. As a result, he was incarcerated from the age of eleven until the age of 25 in-and-out of the California juvenile hall, juvenile camp, and state prison systems. At the age of 25 he decided it was time to make a change and turn his life around, so he went to Homeboy Industries for help and a job. He continues to learn and grow as a human being. Today he is a Domestic Violence and Restorative Justice Facilitator and one of Homeboy's Creative Writing Instructors. Currently attending Pierce Community College, Mr. Lopez enjoys his job at Homeboy and the time he gets to spend working in the community, giving back. Now Mr. Lopez’s most important job is being a contributing member to his family, as a father, son, brother, and husband.

STEVE MOORE. Sheriff Moore was elected San Joaquin County Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator on November 9, 2006. He began his law enforcement career at the Oxnard Police Department in 1978. In 1982, he joined the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff. Sheriff Moore holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminology Law Enforcement from California State Fresno and a single subject teaching credential. He is also a graduate of the F.B.I National Academy (185th Session) in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Moore is a recipient of the Linden Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the California Peace Officers’ Association “Award of Distinction” and is a recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship with the Tracy Rotary Club. On June 26, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Sheriff Moore to the California Council for Adult Interstate Supervision, in April 2009, he was appointed to the California State Sheriff’ Association (CSSA) Board of Directors, and in January 2010, he was appointed to the California Department of Boating and Waterway Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger.

ERNESTO OLIVARES. Mr. Olivares is a Councilmember for the City of Santa Rosa and is a 30-year veteran of the Santa Rosa Police Department. He was appointed as Manager of the City of Santa Rosa’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Services in October 2006, and was responsible for the administration of local tax dollars directed toward gang prevention and intervention, and the administration of the Santa Rosa Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force. Councilmember Olivares is a member of the California Violence Prevention Network, and currently speaks on Gang Prevention and Intervention Best Practices both locally and to other communities in California and across the country.

MICHAEL RUFF. Mr. Ruff is a Special Agent in Charge with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Corrections Safety Special Service Unit. He has over 27 years with the Department and has worked inside numerous Prisons as a gang investigator in Officer, Sergeant Lieutenant and Captain Position and in the field as a Senior Special Agent. He is a qualified gang expert and in his present assignment is responsible for the development of gang information, investigations of gang members and related criminal investigations as well as the training of local, state, federal and international law enforcement personnel on various gang related topics. Michael severed as the coordinator of the California Gang Task Force for approximately three years and coordinated and hosted two national gang task force conferences. Michael has represented the Department of Corrections and the Governor’s office on matters involving gang violence and offered his opinion as a gang expert. Mr. Ruff has received several awards to include Supervisor of the year in 2000.

NATHAN SCARANO. Mr. Scarano is a Supervising Probation Officer with the San Bernardino County Probation Department. Mr. Scarano has worked with juvenile and adult gang members in supervision, investigation, and custodial assignments. He was a five year member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Regional SMASH Team. He has contacted gang members throughout San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties, Arizona, and Nevada by way of arrests, warrant services, compliance checks, vehicle stops, and criminal investigations, writing dozens of gang enhancements, and testifying as a gang expert in Superior Court. Mr. Scarano wrote the 2010 San Bernardino County gang injunction for the Brown Pride Gang, and has provided gang training to numerous city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as community organizations and schools. His work with gangs has been featured in several media entities including FOX News and Spike TV. Mr. Scarano has received numerous accolades including Officer of the Year honors from the CPPCA in 2010 and the International Footprinters Association in 2006.

LARRY J. WALLACE. As Director of the Division of Law Enforcement (DLE), Director Wallace has over 26 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career in 1986, as a Detective with the Berkeley Police Department, where he was awarded the Officer of the Year Award and Medal of Valor Award in 1989. Director Wallace began his career with the California Department of Justice, the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), and San Francisco Regional Office in 1994. Director Wallace received the Region 1 “Al Steward” Award from the California Narcotic Officers Association in 2000. In 2004, Director Wallace moved on to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office where he worked as the Deputy Chief of Investigations for District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. Director Wallace has worked or managed a variety of assignments including patrol, narcotics, homicide, gangs, white collar crime, trial preparation, and the witness relocation and assistance program. Director Wallace’s educational background includes an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.