Daniel Mendoza


Daniel Mendoza is PFJ’s Senior Program Manager for the West Region. He works with PFJ’s national team to support advocates and bring a collaborative and holistic approach to public defense.

Prior to PFJ, Daniel dedicated his efforts to ending mass incarceration, dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, and building people & community power. Through his advocacy efforts, Daniel has partnered with different juvenile/criminal justice stakeholders to create policy changes particularly around eliminating the practice of trying youth as adults, ending the use of solitary confinement for youth, and improving reentry services for individuals post incarceration. He is a community organizer, advocate, and movement builder that is focused on changing the narrative of formerly incarcerated and system impacted individuals. In addition, Daniel’s direct experience in the system, being tried as an adult as a youth and facing a life sentence, fuels the “why” he does this work. He braids together his lived experience, formal education, and professional experience to bring a critical lens aimed at dismantling the carceral system, while at the same time promoting hope, healing and opportunities. Daniel is a Chicano-Indigenous comrade who grew up in Watsonville, CA where he was raised by his single mother. He enjoys being in nature, reading, and spending time with his family.

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