Lisa Jacobi was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She lived there until her sophomore year of high school, when her father retired from Kodak and she moved with her parents to Sunnyvale, California. She finished high school with a regent’s diploma, with a business concentration. Lisa attended some college, however, never attained her degree. She actually had a great job while in high school, working at NASA at Moffett Field, California. She experienced many great things working there at a young age, one being she learned loyalty, hard work and dedication paid off. Lisa to this day doesn’t have a college degree, but that doesn’t stop her from working hard or accepting the challenge. The CAN-DO Challenge.
Lisa has worked at the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of New York for over 20 years managing the offices in Rochester & Buffalo, New York. She made many friends within the Federal Court system, and consults with many experts in this field when working on a case to determine what the best route for a client might be.
Criminal Justice Reform, and people getting a Second Chance to reclaim their lives has always been something close to Lisa’s heart. While working at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, she saw the impact that incarceration and the draconian drug laws had on not just the people sentenced in Federal Court, but also upon their families. Her personal observations have motivated her to get involved in criminal justice reform.
When President Obama began granting clemency petitions, Lisa began surfing the internet reading about Criminal Justice Reform and came across the CAN-DO FOUNDATION. One of the men on the CAN-DO site was Chad Marks; he was someone Lisa remembered from her work at the Federal Public Defender’s Office. Her office represented one of Chad’s co-defendants. Chad was sentenced to a 40-year mandatory minimum for his involvement in a non-violent drug conspiracy. That case had a huge impact on Lisa’s office, and she remembers it to this day. When she saw his bio, Lisa reached out to Amy Ralston Povah to volunteer and became Chad’s Guardian Angel through the CAN-DO Guardian Angel program.
Working with Chad, Lisa learned he is a jailhouse lawyer who has freed numerous fellow prisoners through his efforts. Chad’s activism from inside the prison system, fueled Lisa’s passion to assist both Chad (who identifies worthy clemency candidates he is serving time with) and CAN-DO, by bringing her own skills to gather the necessary documents needed to compile clemency petitions. She won’t stop helping worthy candidates, because there are so many out there that need our help.
Her motto, “Keep Fighting The Good Fight, it is a good and righteous one!”