Philip Melendez & his amazing daughter, Esperanza, recently met up with the Upworthy team to share their stories & shine a light on the much-needed conversation around violent crime, trauma, & the urgency for systemic reform. In working to improve public safety, we must include all who have been affected by crime & the justice system in solution-oriented discussions. Elevating the journeys of survivors of crime & incarcerated & formerly incarcerated people is an integral part of the movement. It is one that takes bravery & often opens oneself to criticism. We applaud Philip for his courage & commitment to community.
Also, a shoutout to the FIRSTWATCH team at San Quentin for documenting Phil's story on the inside & for capturing some of the footage that you see here. To learn more about the #FIRSTWATCH, a media project started by incarcerated men at San Quentin, please visit restorecal.org/FIRSTWATCH!
**Correction to the video description: Phil was originally facing the death penalty, but he was not sentenced to it.