CruzJunky is proud to announce the arrival of a new contributor to our site, Chris J. Stevens.
We will follow his turbulent journey from the streets of Santa Cruz, multiple incarcerations, right to the steps of the White House standing next to the President of the United States….
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. Chris was convicted of his first of 39 crimes at age 11 and became a ward of the Santa Cruz County Court. He was incarcerated and placed in multiple group homes between the ages of 11 and 15.
He ended his string of crime after four-time UFC World Champion, Frank Shamrock, and martial artist Jeremy Corbell visited juvenile hall and took Stevens under their wing, inspiring him to spend the next six years training in martial arts. Because his criminal record was sealed at age 18, Stevens was able to join the U.S. Army at 21, where he maintained a secret security clearance, became a noncommissioned officer, received multiple awards, and completed hundreds of ceremonial missions in Washington, D.C.
“There is a social construction within American society that designates those who have committed a crime as a different class of human being, fundamentally untrustworthy. This leaves little to no room for the rehabilitation of the outcasts, who often want nothing more than to take their places as contributing members of society.”
– Chris Stevens
Through the story of my own experience, I hope to shine some light on this issue so others won’t have to hide their pasts from society the way I did, and can stand proudly as Americans. ”
A spinal injury ended his five-year military career in 2013, and he was honorably discharged with a medical retirement. He is now 28 years old, in his third year of undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, where he’s studying U.S. Policy, Justice & Law. Stevens is also the founder of a think tank, and is writing a book about his journey.