Jose Burgos joined the CFSY team in October 2023. Before joining CFSY, Jose was a Reentry specialist assisting those coming home after decades of incarceration with Project Reentry at Michigan’s State Appellate Defenders Office (SADO). As a former life-sentenced child and long-standing member of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN), Jose has been an avid champion of youth justice reform in the State of Michigan.
Jose was sentenced to life without parole for an act committed at 16 years old. Having dropped out of school in the 7th grade, Jose began educating himself while incarcerated, which led him to earn his G.E.D. and a certificate in Custodial Maintenance Technology. Jose played an instrumental role in creating two youth mentoring programs, which are still up and running today. He trained service dogs, created a book club, mentored other prisoners, and got involved in as many programs as possible. After 27 years of incarceration with no hope of freedom, Jose’s sentence was reduced, earning him his release.
In 2020, Jose was appointed by Governor Whitmer to the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and became a non-attorney member of the State Bar of Michigan Prisons & Corrections Section. His expertise in youth justice reform has already been instrumental in changing the landscape for life-sentenced children in the state of Michigan.
When Jose isn’t on the phone with a formerly life-sentenced child or picking someone up from prison on their release date, you can find him enjoying the company of his loving grandmother who raised him, stood by his side during those 27 years and sat in the courtroom the day his life without parole sentence was reduced to a term of years.