What is sister inmate?
Sister Inmate is a Los Angeles-based non-profit that supports the victims affected by incarceration; not by choice, but by affiliation. In some way, we are all incarcerated too.
Our goals are to: educate society on the prison and jail system, raising awareness; provide a passionate team of therapists and life coaches to guide victims of incarceration, providing healing; and teach life-skills to those incarcerated in correctional facilities, creating transformation.
We are here to help restore the justice system and reduce the recidivism rate, one loved one at a time.
CARLEE SANTARELLI, FOUNDER
When Carlee was 12 years old, a devastation struck her family. Her 19-year-old brother killed his wife. He was to serve back-to-back life sentences without parole. Denied an appeal and a post-conviction hearing, it was clear to Carlee and her family that the possibility of her brother's release was zero to none. Ten years into his incarceration, Carlee’s brother took his life while on suicide watch.
"I grew up thinking that the passing of a loved one would be the absolute hardest thing anyone could go through. It's incredibly heartbreaking to experience a loved one committing a crime. But I realized that what my brother had experienced during his time behind bars was far worse than my experience with his death. The pain I felt after his death was coupled with a sense of relief. He was free of his mental illnesses, his memories of sexual abuse, all of the self-mutilation. He was no longer suffering.What my brother did was wrong. Though I do believe that there should be consequences for such actions, the way in which society deals with the people who commit these crimes is inhumane and even more damaging. It’s a fact that 3 out of 4 inmates will reoffend once they are released back into society, and this is what we need to help prevent.”
Carlee is the founder of Sister Inmate, a non-profit organization shifting the conversation around the criminal justice system. An activist for prisoner support and education-based incarceration, Carlee dedicates her life to supporting the family and friends of those incarcerated all while making communities a safer place to live in.
WILBERT SWARINGER, LIFE COACH
“…to allow a person to tell their story is when healing can take place.”
Wilbert Swaringer is a professional life coach who helps individuals rebalance their lives through the process of self-actualization. By allowing individuals to share their story, his clients are able to positively redefine their past, thus achieving clarity and personal empowerment.
Prior to Sister Inmate, Wilbert spent 38 years serving as a pastor in New York, Alabama, Ohio, and California. After suffering from a stroke in 2012, Wilbert was compelled to seek an alternative path in serving his community. With a passion to help others achieve their goals and aspirations, Wilbert pursued two certifications in NLP through the Living Purpose Institute and Imagine 21. He continued on to master his skill through enhancement programs like Landmark, where he was trained under well-renowned motivational speaker Margaret Pazant, and went on to facilitate other programs including Emerging Leaders and Imagine 21.
RICHARD WEINTRAUB, spiritual teacher
"By giving individuals an opportunity to understand the power of their subconscious mind, which is love, they realize that they are capable of overcoming any obstacles."
Richard Weintraub is A spiritual teacher who, through VISUALIZATION exercises, storytelling, and creative thinking, helps individuals discover the hidden truths and talents that lie deep within themselves. With the mission to serve in organizations where services may have been neglected, he introduces a more psycho-spiritual approach to MENTORSHIP, one that is driven by love over fear.
Richard is highly recognized as an educator, legal education expert, motivational speaker, author, and communication specialist. he has held a number of directorial positions for the la county sheriff's department including its professional development bureau, training bureau, education based incarceration, commander's task force and continuous improvement unit. he is a former instructor of the imagine 21 class for the pacific institute and usc DELINQUENCY control institute, and is greatly involved with vida (juvenile intervention program) and merit (maximizing education reaching individual transformation). he carries a long-standing history with the youth, having served as director of the constitutional rights foundation, president of the california council on children and youth, and coordinator of the dare plus for california state university northridge.