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A former gang member and Denver native has been appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock to serve on Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission.
Leo Alirez, from the Denver Inner City Parish, has extensive experience leading intervention, prevention and re-entry programs out of the parish.
“It is an incredible privilege to serve on this commission,” Alirez said in a news release from Inner City Parish.
“I grew up in a gang and saw firsthand the allure, but also the hardship that comes with that life. For the last 14 years I’ve been working to prevent criminal behavior and intervene when violence erupts. I’m excited to be able to offer my expertise on such an important commission.”
Alirez’s experience, combined with his degree in addictions and honorary doctorate in human services, make him a prime candidate for the commission, which aims to reduce crime and recidivism, develop related evidence-based programs within the justice system, and expand appropriate alternatives to jail, among other goals, the release says.
Alirez has worked for more than a decade with Colorado judicial systems and nonprofits to help empower former gang members to successfully reintegrate back into their families and communities.
He is certified through the National Gang Crime Research Center and also is a certified addictions counselor.In 2017, Alrez was selected by Hancock as an honoree of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative of Denver, a nationwide initiative that works to “make the American dream available to all boys and young men of color by eliminating gaps in their opportunities and outcomes.”
He oversees the Life, Evolving Fathers and Recreation programs at the parish’s College View Community Center in southwest Denver.
Denver Inner City Parish is a grassroots, community-based human services nonprofit that has been welcoming and empowering people in need through support, determination, and community since 1960.For information, go online to www.dicp.org.
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