Amir Chapel is PFJ's Senior Program Manager for Santa Cruz County. He has over 20 years of combined personal and professional experience as a justice-impacted individual. As someone who has experienced the services of indigent defense firsthand, Amir understands the inherent challenges to implementing and providing collaborative defense for the most marginalized populations that cycle in and out of the criminal legal system.
Prior to joining PFJ, Amir worked with national non-profit organizations providing training and technical assistance, youth development, violence prevention and intervention, organizational development, capacity building, and advocacy in the fields of juvenile and adult criminal justice. Additionally, Amir has served in different research roles in local and state government conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis to determine the efficacy of various criminal legal system interventions and programs. Amir holds a master’s degree in criminology and statistics from the University of Cincinnati. Amir is rooted in community and is dedicated to working with system partners, community-based organizations, advocates, and coalitions by working to reduce harm and improve outcomes for system-impacted individuals.