Exonerated Nation’s Advocacy Day was held February 28, 2003.  Ten (10) exonerees, with their supporters and EN board members, met with California legislators and shared their powerful testimonies to advocate for the immediate and long-term needs of California exonerees.  

On March 21, 2023, the Public Safety Committee of the California State Assembly unanimously passed Exonerated Nation’s sponsored bill AB 997. The legislation will create a special fund at the Victim’s Compensation Board to pay for an exonoree’s mental health services. The money is allocated whenever the State of California approves a wrongful conviction claim at the Victim’s Compensation Board.   This means that exonorees will be able to find their own mental health provider and have the services paid for out of this special fund. AB 997 will next be heard at the Assembly Appropriations Committee in mid-May.

Socially Just Podcast

Obie Anthony talks with the hosts of SOCIALLY JUST: Public Health Perspectives for Change.

Obie discusses the impact of wrongful convictions on the health of communities. Mr. Anthony has a unique perspective and insight into the complicated problems with our justice system having been framed and wrongfully convicted and later exonerated himself. Through his unique lens, Mr. Anthony poses solutions through policy change and advocacy.

Socially Just is a podcast hosted by Touro University California faculty members Gayle Cummings, PsyD, MPH, Nemesia Kelly, MPH, and Deirdra Wilson, PhD, MPH.

Menthol Talk

What’s menthol got to do with it?

A conversation on the predatory practices of the tobacco industry.

We were joined by Dr. Phillip Gardiner, Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council.  Dr. Gardiner is a Public Health activist, administrator, evaluator and researcher. Dr. Gardiner received his Doctorate in Behavioral Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, where he focused on Youth Violence as a public health issue. Throughout his research career, Dr. Gardiner has maintained his community activism to address racial disparities in health through writing, organizing, evaluating and public speaking.

Learn more about the AATCL


Healing the trauma

Healing the trauma of wrongful conviction and imprisonment

By Douglas Oakley of Kaiser Permanente, October 5, 2022

Exonerated Nation founder Obie Anthony and Board President Gayle Cummings recently interviewed with Douglas Oakley for Look insideKP.  Kaiser Permanente has been an ongoing supporter of EN, helping the organization to provide programs and services that aid exonerees in mental health, overall wellbeing and leadership development. 

Read the full article at Look insideKP


Social Support Services


Our Social Support team provides services that accommodate the different life circumstances and mental health needs for exonerees upon immediate release.  We strive to provide support that is both culturally competent and trauma-informed.

Services include:

  • Consultation
  • Evaluation and needs assessment
  • Social support recommendations
  • Identify needs, strengths, and challenges for developing a comprehensive strategy
  • Continuity of social support
  • Navigation and support for exonerees to access services provided through AB 701-Exoneree Housing, AB 703, Exoneree Higher Education, AB 672 Obie’s Law, and SB 1050-Gate Money (visit Our Policy Changes for more information about these bills)

Continue below to complete an intake form and tell us more about what you need assistance with.


EN Strategic Planning Weekend

Strategic planning weekend with Exonerated Nation’s Board of Directors in Napa California

With grant support from Kaiser, we’re planning our annual healing and leadership retreat for 25 exonerees, September 23 -25, 2022 at the Asilomar Retreat Center!

We are counting on additional sponsorship and support to ensure high quality programming to set up exoneree leaders for success! 

For more information and details on how you can support this event and other efforts to help exonerees rebuild the lives unjustly stolen, visit exoneratednation.org/donate/

Gayle Cummings, Ignacio Hernandez, Dave McLane (zoom), Obie Anthony, Jaime King, and Charleane Williams

4.5 Trillion Cigarette Filters

They may look harmless, but 4.5 trillion cigarette filters are littered worldwide each year making them the most abundant plastic pollutant on Earth. They are not biodegradable but are made of plastic fibers (cellulose acetate) They can take up to 10 years to break down into tiny pieces of plastic- microplastics – which are hazard to our environment. Even worse, the toxic compounds in cigarette butts, including formaldehyde, nicotine, arsenic, and lead, are leached into the natural environment, far outlasting the life of the butts themselves. Studies have shown that 𝗮 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘁𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟰𝟴 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿. Imagine the impact of 4.5 trillion cigarette butts if 𝟭 𝗰𝗶𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘁𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝟱𝟬𝟬 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗱𝗮𝘆. Just another example of the far-reaching devastation the tobacco industry continues to cause.

The single action you can take that will make a real impact on this problem is to 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝘀𝗺𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴! Going tobacco-free will protect your health and improve the health of the planet.

This message is posted in partnership with the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to help expand awareness of tobacco harm and their movement to end commercial tobacco use.

COPE Presentation

In a rising tide of exonerations resulting from wrongful convictions, our research is important to gaining awareness of unique reentry needs associated with trauma.

Our Project COPE Team recently presented their research findings at the 15th Annual Academic and Health Policy Conference on Criminal Justice Health in April 2022.

View the presentation here:
ACCJH COPE Presentation_April 2022

Visit our Research page to learn more about Project COPE.

Tobacco Harm Awareness

We’re so excited to partner with the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to help expand awareness of tobacco harm and their movement to end commercial tobacco use.

Evidence suggests that formerly incarcerated men, including those who have been wrongfully convicted have significantly higher rates of mortality and morbidity than the general population, disparities that have been partially attributed to higher rates of tobacco smoking-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and cancer. (Howell, et al., 2015)

While it is well known that  people smoke as ‘self-medication’ to ease feelings of stress, research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief it reduces stress and anxiety.

This feeling is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings. Smoking reduces the withdrawal symptoms, but doesn’t reduce anxiety or deal with the reasons someone may feel that way. This is a vicious cycle for many, particularly for those who suffer from the psychological trauma of being wrongfully convicted.

However, there is good news if you are a smoker.  It’s never too late to give up and you may find that quitting reduces levels of stress, anxiety and depression.  There is a lot of support available to quit and EN’s partnership with the AATCLC is here to help!

The AATCLC is the country’s leading public health education and advocacy organization taking on Big Tobacco to save Black lives.  Their work informs and influences the direction of tobacco control as it affects the lives of African American and African Immigrant communities.

We’ve provided some information and resources here to help you learn more about the fight to end commercial tobacco.  You can also visit the AATCLC website at https://www.savingblacklives.org/.  Please share this information with others.