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Michael Tirpak

Founding Board Member

Michael Tirpak was a member of the District Attorney Accountability Coalition, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Exonerated Nation, Beit T’Shuvah, and Homeboy Industries. He also volunteered for his labor union, Labors International Union of North America, and for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. 

Michael was passionate about assisting people re-entering society after decades of incarceration.   When he was just 18 years old, Michael was arrested for a crime he did not commit.  He was ultimately sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus four years, but always maintained his innocence.  During his 25 years of wrongful incarceration, Michael completed a number of classes and programs, and became a certified facilitator in the Alternatives to Violence Project. 

In 2019, Michael became the first person in Southern California to be freed under California’s newly-passed Senate Bill 1437.  Michael dearly loved his wife, daughter, friends, and three dogs. Michael felt the most free when riding his motorcycle.

Tragically, just four years after being freed from the decades-long unjust incarceration, Michael unexpectedly lost his life. PCA is dedicated to Michael’s memory and to realizing his vision of not just freeing the unjustly incarcerated, but of also helping them overcome the barriers they face after release from prison. 

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