Jamala Taylor has successfully overcome a challenging past. He endured a lengthy incarceration, initially receiving a daunting 99-year-to-life sentence. During this time, he spent 15 years in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison/S.H.U., and his overall incarceration spanned 31 years across various maximum-security facilities in California. However, his journey took a significant turn when he was granted his release on December 30, 2020.
While incarcerated at CSP-LAC, Jamala displayed remarkable determination by obtaining his GED and embarking on the path toward earning a degree in sociology at CSU-Fullerton. Jamala has recently been accepted into the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy where he will pursue a Masters in Public Administration, with a concentration in nonprofit management and leadership.
Jamala’s passion for life coaching was ignited in 2017 during his time in prison. He participated in an extensive workshop titled “Coaching for Healing and Non-Violence” (CHNV), and upon his release, he completed the rigorous nine-month Coaching for Healing, Justice, and Liberation certification program (CHJL). His coaching approach is deeply rooted in the context of the broader social movement, emphasizing organizational and leadership development. In addition to his coaching work, Jamala holds the role of Senior Reentry Manager for the Insight Garden program. He is a staunch advocate for political causes supporting both current and formerly incarcerated individuals, with a particular emphasis on the unique reentry needs of women of color. His advocacy efforts extend to the transformative power of nature and education in the lives of those affected by the criminal justice system.