WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE DO

Life Support Alliance and Life Support Alliance Education Fund are non-profit social advocacy agencies, focused on life term inmates and their families. We are overseen by a Board of Directors, all of whom have or have had loved ones serving a life sentence, and an Advisory Board of former lifers, now released on parole.

Our job, our mission, is to be the voice and presence of lifers in the legislative offices and public gatherings, in the ear of the CDC regarding conditions of confinement and programming, and to remind the parole board of the realities of lifers’ situation. Our primary purpose is the help lifers and their families understand the parole system and what it takes to be found suitable for parole, to help them find the resources to help them do this. 

Our primary method of accomplishing these goals are through our newsletters, the monthly, free Lifer-Line, which goes by email to friends and family of lifers, who then mail the newsletter to their prisoners. Our larger newsletter, California Lifer Newsletter, is by subscription, $30 per year for prisoners, and covers legal analysis of cases relevant to lifer concerns as well as BPH and CDCR news. CLN is a bi-monthly publication. Because of its size and cost free copies are not available. However, CLN is mailed to the law library of every prison in California.

In 2014 we began After*Life, sent directly to paroled lifers, with information on parole policy and procedures, as well as how to appeal or address problems. Any paroled lifer who sends us a request for After-Life and his email address will receive the monthly report.

  Life Support Alliance
(Pelican Bay State Prison)
As We Progress

In early 2012 Life Support Alliance began a new phase, when Victims of Injustice/Life Support Alliance Education Fund (VOI/LSAEF) was created as a 501 (c) 3, non-profit tax deductible entity. At the same time, VOI/LSAEF, (hereafter referred to as LSAEF) also assumed publication of California Lifer Newsletter (CLN), the seminal publication on lifer matters for the past six years.

CLN, founded by Don “Doc” Miller, a former lifer and physician, now paralegal and champion of the lifer cause, is published bi-monthly and mailed to a subscriber list that includes not only lifers, but attorneys, judges, legislators and government officials as well. The 60-70 page periodical features analysis of recent legal cases relevant to lifer parole and rulings and is an important in-their-hands legal resource for lifers, as well as a report on political, legislative and regulatory news within the CDCR and State.




The primary purposes of LSAEF include:


1.To educate the public and legislators on the characteristics of the term to lifer prisoner cohort relative to the risk of recidivism and violence from this population.

2.To provide education to the families of life term inmates in dealing with the prison and parole system.

3.To educate and assist life term prisoners in rehabilitation practices needed to facilitate their finding of suitability to parole by the parole board.

4.To assist life term prisoners found suitable and released on parole with successful reintegration into society.

Our Board of Directors includes:

Vanessa Nelson-Sloane, Director and CEO of LSAEF and co-founder of the original Life Support Alliance (LSA) advocacy group.  A veteran of more than a dozen years in the prison reform movement and past member of several Inmate Family Councils, she is responsible for the editorial content of both CLN, Lifer-Line, and After*Life,  the monthly free publications of LSA.  She is married to a former, recently paroled life-term prisoner and the aunt of another lifer.

Gail Brown, Co-Director of LSAEF and co-founder of LSA, chairman of the Inmate Family Council at California State Prison, Solano and a 15 year advocate for lifers and their families. Gail’s solid history as a knowledgeable and genuine advocate for lifers and her numerous contacts within the community makes her an invaluable resource for LSAEF. Gail’s husband is a lifer, now in his 41st year of incarceration.

Victor Abrunzo, retired attorney, member of the Inmate Family Council at California Institute for Women (CIW) and standing member of the Statewide Inmate Family Council. Victor is also a member of the CDCR’s Gender Responsive Strategies committee.  A military veteran, Vic assists prisoners who are also veterans in a variety of VA related issues.

Bob Driscoll, retired engineer, parent of a lifer and source extroardinaire on the DOM and Title 15. Bob is former member of several Inmate Family Councils and a current member of Statewide Inmate Family council as well as a tireless prisoner advocate.


Advisory Members

David Sloane, paroled lifer. Released in early 2013 after 23+ years as a life term inmate David brings a unique perspective to the challenges of promoting the cause of lifers and helps us focus on what is truly important to lifers and how best to engage them.  His insight into the challenges of returning to society on parole is a major asset to our mission.

Donald “Doc” Miller, the originator of CLN, a paralegal and former lifer, who is now Editor Emeritus of the publication.

John Dannenberg, former lifer and paralegal. John writes legal analysis for CLN and is well known to lifers as the subject of the iconic In Re: Dannenberg case. His knowledge and insight is an invaluable resource for LSAEF and CLN.

Keith Chandler, former life-term prisoner, paralegal and current law student.  Keith won his freedom through court action and has since become a well-known and respected champion for lifers.  

Our lifer family seminars, held 4 to 6 times a year in various parts of the state, keep families up to date on parole workings, new events, how they can help their lifers become suitable and provide a better understanding of the parole process. These are all-day affairs, filled with information, insight and fellowship. Any lifer or family member is welcome to contact us with questions or issues and we will do what we can to assist.

We also attend parole hearings as observers, to monitor the proceedings and performance of commissioners and institutional staff, with reports of inappropriate or unethical behavior reported to the proper parties. We support and/or oppose the confirmation of parole commissioners, support or oppose legislation affecting prisoners and provide a voice and presence for lifers and their families in the media, legislative offices and before the BPH and CDCR.

We sit as stakeholders on three CDCR workgroups developing and implementing policies and regulations affecting lifers and respond to pleas for assistance and information for lifers and their families on issues ranging from medical problems to attorney dereliction. We are a frequent contributor to parole agent training workshops and policy meetings. 

We are not attorneys, do not offer legal advice, represent clients or provide reprints of cases or legal briefs. We do not operate reentry facilities, provide employment, write support letters or sign petitions.

We are an all-volunteer work-force, all of whom either currently have or have had loved ones serving a life sentence. None of our staff is paid and we rely entirely on donations and subscription fees from California Lifer Newsletter to continue our work. Donations drive our work and make it possible for us to travel to parole hearings and seminars, publish our newsletters and continue day to day.

If you would like to help keep our work growing and our presence strong please consider becoming a monthly or quarterly donor, either by check, money order or via PayPal. If you’re in the Sacramento area, volunteers in our office are always welcome and needed.
We can be contacted at PO Box 277, Rancho Cordova, CA. 95741, by email at lifesupportalliance@gmail.com or by phone at:
 916-402-3750.  

We do accept collect calls from inmates but are not always available to take calls, due to meetings and travel.


Public Safety 
​Fiscal Responsibility

We are a non profit 
organization and 
accept donations to 
help defray the operating costs of producing seminars, our  travel throughout the state,  printed 
materials for 
legislative educational 
efforts and 
maintaining our website. Volunteers are welcome to assist 
in research, 
legislative visits, letter campaigns and various other periodical services.

In-kind donations 
are appreciated.

Donations may be sent via check or money order or through Pay-Pal. 
For details please go to the Contact Us link at the top of
 this page. 
Fighting for the lives and freedom of California Lifers.
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