|A young parolee who was mentored by a volunteer attorney for Volunteers
in Parole Inc. (VIP) was honored last month for outstanding achievement by the California
Armando Lopez, paroled to East Los Angeles in 1997, immediately
requested a VIP mentor and was matched with Pasadena attorney Stephen Bell.
Lopez attended college, worked as an assistant health educator with clients in six
parole offices, juvenile hall and continuation schools, and volunteered at the Los Angeles
Free Clinic and Legal Aid. He is the new program director for VIP's San Fernando Valley
VIP is the only organization in California that recruits, matches and supports
attorneys to mentor parolees from the CYA and the Department of Corrections. More than 75
percent of parolees in the program complete parole, compared to between 25 and 50 percent
of unmentored young parolees.
The award was granted under legislation authored by Sen. Adam Schiff enabling CYA to
recognize outstanding achievements by current or former juvenile court wards.