Smart Justice Forum - A New Direction for San Diego County
Join the Office of Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer for a Virtual Forum on the state of Smart Justice reforms in San Diego County. Hear from local and national advocates (see panelists below) and submit questions about what comes next for our region.


photo of Bianca Tylec
Bianca Tylec
Founder & Executive Director @Worth Rises
Bianca led the first successful campaign in the country to make jail phone calls free, blocked a major merger in the prison telecom market, and denied prison profiteers millions of investment dollars. Every year, under her leadership, Worth Rises publishes innovative research about the prison industry, including the nation’s largest dataset of corporate prison profiteers. In just three years, her work has cost the industry and its investors over a billion dollars, and saved communities tormented by incarceration millions. Bianca is a Draper Richard Kaplan Entrepreneur and has previously been awarded fellowships by TED, Art For Justice, Equal Justice Works, Harvard University, Ford Foundation, Paul & Daisy Soros, and Education Pioneers. Before committing her career to justice, Bianca worked in financial services at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Bianca holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
photo of Neil Besse
Neil Besse
Supervisor @Public Defender's Defense Transition Unit
Neil Besse has been a Deputy Public Defender for 20 years. He is a graduate of Old Dominion University (B.A. ’91) and the University of Georgia (J.D. ’96). He currently supervises the Public Defender’s Defense Transition Unit, which he formed in 2016. The DTU consists of four licensed mental health clinicians and three housing navigators. With paralegal support, the DTU accepts referrals directly from assigned Public Defenders. DTU clinicians assess clients’ diagnoses and treatment needs within 5 working days, linking them to mental health services with timely and appropriate treatment plans which may be used as conditions of probation.
photo of Khalid Alexander
Khalid Alexander
President and Founder @Pillars of the Commuity
Professor Alexander comes from a long line of Americans who despite the odds have always worked for social justice and a better world. He pursued an M.A. in comparative literature at San Diego State University and became a Fulbright scholar in Damascus, Syria. In addition to being a fulltime English professor, he spearheaded the annual Social Justice and Education Conference at San Diego City College. He is also the president and founder of Pillars of the Community a nonprofit community organization that works with those targeted by law enforcement for meaningful systemic change. He founded the “Reclaiming Our Stories” collective in 2015 which recently published a second volume of narrative essays written by individuals from impacted neighborhoods. Currently, he and Pillars of the Community are focused on challenging racist gang laws that target Black and Brown residents. Above all else, he is a proud resident of Southeast San Diego where he is raising 3 kids with his wife Raquel.