The leaders of JTS are people intimately aware of domestic violence and its consequences. They are experts who seek to educate about domestic violence and who advocate for its victims, especially women incarcerated for acting in self-defense against their abusers.
Kelle Lynn, who is a survivor of domestic violence, founded JTS in 2016 to advocate formally for victims of domestic violence and to help give them a voice. She is board president.
A psychologist who was formerly with the Michigan Department of Corrections, Nels Thompson is an expert on domestic violence. He is featured in several of Justice Thru Storytelling’s educational and supportive videos.
Former Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jack McDonald reversed the verdict of Nancy Seaman, a victim of domestic violence who was imprisoned for killing her husband. He took the important step after learning about Battered Women’s Syndrome from Dr. Lenore Walker, a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence.
Joan Grillo was employed more than 20 years as a victim advocate in two prosecutors’ offices.
Dr. Gil Padula is system medical director for Summa Health Cancer Institute in Northeast Ohio. A Michigan native, he keeps a residence in Grand Haven. Raised by a strong, independent mother, Dr. Padula works to end domestic violence for women and men and to diminish the use of false accusations of domestic violence as it pertains to divorce and custody battles.
While in Michigan, he was the Principal Investigator of the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan and Medical Director of Technology and Innovation at the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center.
Joni understands domestic violence in ways no one should ever have to – as a victim. While imprisoned at Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Joni handwrote her memoir, To Kill or Be Killed. She was released from prison in April 2017. Joni is passionate about using her gift of writing as well as her voice to advocate for women victims of domestic violence behind prison bars, and the ones living in the free world, yet imprisoned on the inside from the silence and shame which consumes them.
To Kill or Be Killed is scheduled for publication in 2019. Joni is using her voice to help battered women in prison with the hope of helping them gain clemency or parole. She knows firsthand that women don’t deserve incarceration for protecting their lives or their children’s lives from intimate abusers.
Cynthia Wark, Aspen, CO
Denise Pagura, Dublin, Ohio
Karen Baka, Pittsburg, CA
Laura Houlmont, Traverse City, MI
Debbie Rojas, Denver, CO.
Carmen Hanusz, Bucks County, PA