Remerg is a nonprofit in Denver, Colorado, with a mission to reduce recidivism by providing current re-entry information to people involved in Colorado’s criminal justice systems. Start-up costs were funded by a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant.
Remerg.com launched in November 2016 and is available for free to everyone. We connect justice-involved people (and their families) to the resources they need to return, rebuild, and re-imagine.
Our goal is to help more people reconnect to their communities and succeed upon release, thus reducing recidivism to jail and prison in Colorado. At this point in time, roughly half of the people released from incarceration fail to succeed in the community and return to prison or jail. The social and monetary costs from recidivism are unsustainable.
Carol Peeples is the founder and executive director. She was the project manager and primary author of the first two editions of Getting On After Getting Out: A Reentry Guide for Colorado, and the founder of Colorado Voting Project and Can I Vote?, a statewide educational campaign on voting and disenfranchisement.
IT Director Steve Mursuli was a successful small business owner and website developer/coder before he was incarcerated in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He was released in early 2015, is currently on parole, and considers remerg.com a way to help the people he was incarcerated with, as well as a way to give back to the community.
Community liaison Jhil Marquantte was released in February 2018 from the Colorado Department of Corrections after serving over twenty-five years. While incarcerated, Jhil participated in the canine training program, worked as a paraprofessional in the pre-release class, and led classes in the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People program. Jhil believes in the importance of verified resource information, as he learned firsthand upon release from incarceration.
Kenneth Plotz (President) currently serves as a senior district court judge in Colorado and as a mediator in private practice. Previously he has been a private practice attorney, a public defender with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, a district court and chief judge in the Eleventh Judicial District in Colorado, and a consultant for the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
Margot Rodriguez (Secretary/Treasurer) is the director of development for the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC), an education, non-profit organization, where she leads the vision and strategic direction for the development and fundraising programs. She also served as the development director for McREL International, an education research organization, and an academic policy officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
James Schultz retired as division vice-president of Performance Development for Walgreens Corporation and now specializes in human capital strategy development. He was President of the Illinois Occupational Skills Standards and Credentialing Committee and teaches graduate courses for the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois.
Dianne Tramutola-Lawson is the founder and chair of the Colorado chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CO-CURE) and the chair of National-CURE, headquartered in Washington, DC. In addition, Dianne serves as a citizen member on the Denver Community Corrections Board, the Governor’s Executive Clemency Advisory Board, the Denver Sheriff Department Advisory Board, and she has been an active member of the American Correctional Association since 1999. In March 2006, Tramutola-Lawson was awarded the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, named in honor of the late civil rights activist. She says her work helping prisoners and their loved ones is her way of giving back to a society that has blessed her with a strong family, a good job, and a sense of purpose.
Marcus Weaver is a vocational specialist with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless where he helps people obtain employment. A mayoral appointee on the Workforce Investment Board, Marcus is influential in providing oversight and guidance on workforce investment initiatives centered on marginalized populations in Denver. Marcus is a national speaker/author, local volunteer, and a passionate community leader serving on several community boards that work to move people to self sufficiency. When he was younger, Marcus was incarcerated in jail and prison for a nonviolent crime.
Thomas Hernandez came from a life of heavy addiction and confusion. As a very young child, he turned to substance abuse, gangs, and crime for over 24 years of his life. After becoming imprisoned, he realized it was time for a complete change, removed himself from the destructive life he knew, and dedicated his life to reform and the recovery community. He has a non-stop passion, drive, and dedication to preserve the lives of addicts through accountability, desire, determination, and willingness to change. Thomas is the co-founder of The Hornbuckle Foundation and Tribe Sober Living Houses.
We mourn the passing of Reverend Tina Yankee on October 6, 2018. Tina served with the same passion and force on the Remerg Board of Directors as she did in all the other areas of her life. As executive director of Turnabout, Tina and her team connected returning citizens to 30,000 jobs during her 14 years at the nonprofit’s helm. Tina also most recently served as the Director of Programs and Development for the Colorado Council of Churches and chaired its Criminal Justice Task Force. Tina’s heart belonged to her role as Community Pastor for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and beginning in 1999 until recently, when her illness prevented it, Tina regularly provided religious services at Denver County Jail. Tina loved her two daughters, dancing, fashion, reading The Economist, and brainstorming new ideas on how she could help others. Her favorite saint was St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. We miss her fierce spirit but know it lives on in the many people she touched and inspired during her lifetime.