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Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

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(209) 423-4794

Educational Advocacy

I provide presentations for juveniles and adults who are incarcerated. I communicate as someone that has lived in their shoes.

Death Penalty

Assisting in mitigating factors that prefer a life sentence as opposed to a worse case outcome.

Detoured, A Memoir

My Journey from Darkness to Light. A memoir by by Jesse De La Cruz.
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The New York Times Magazine

How Do You Define a Gang Member? By Daniel Alarcón
Read it here »

Services Provided

My Goal

My goal as a gang consultant/expert witness in gang cases is to provide defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and juries insight into the secretive world of gangs so that justice is meted out equitably. My motivation for this type of work is guided by my extensive prior involvement in both street/prison gangs and by the injustices I have witnessed in our judicial system stemming from societies ignorance concerning the gang phenomena. I have had the misfortune of witnessing men killed because they were wrongfully labeled gang members by law/prison authorities. I have seen gang enhancement charges filed against individuals indiscriminately based more on ethnicity rather than on actual evidence.



I also provide presentations for juveniles and adults who are incarcerated. My presentations are designed to provide a window of hope for those who have none and give incarcerated folks an opportunity to see the trans-formative power of education in someone who has lived their type of lifestyle and lived to talk about it.


I address college audiences and provide the college student an opportunity to see the offender as a human being that for reasons known only to them, commits criminal acts over and over. Most importantly, I give the audience possible solutions to this huge crime problem that has infected our entire nation.


Jesse De La Cruz was expelled from high school during his sophomore year for participating in a riot and for the next thirty years lived contrary to the current of life and got involved in gangs, substance abuse, and crime.

In 1997, Mr. De La Cruz enrolled in college and began his educational journey graduating with a Baccalaureate Degree in Sociology in 2001 and a Masters of Social Work Degree from California State University, Stanislaus in 2003. In July 2014 he obtained his Ed.D. after completing his dissertation which is titled: Mexican American/Chicano Gang Members’ Voice on Social Control in the Context of School and Community: A Critical Ethnographic Study in Stockton, California.