Dr. Jesse De La Cruz
Dr. Jesse De La Cruz was raised in the barrios of California. A journey of gangs, crime, and heroin addiction lead him to serve a total of 27 years in prison. Since his release from prison in 1996, Dr. De La Cruz has graduated with a BA in Sociology, a Masters in Social Work, and a Doctorate in Education. His dissertation “Mexican American/Chicano Gang Members Voice on Social Control in the Context of School and Community: A Critical Ethnographic Case Study in Stockton, California” is a much-needed study of a real and grave problem both locally and nationally. His insights as a one-time gang member and a scholar on gang phenomenon make him a sought-after expert witness on Mexican gangs. Dr. De La Cruz published his memoir “Detoured: My Journey from Darkness to Light” in 2011. He has lectured students, teachers, and community leaders about his experiences with drugs, crime, and the extensive judicial and prison systems.