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Meet Our Executive Director, Jimmy Wu

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Jimmy Wu is the Executive Director at InsideOUT Writers (IOW). Over twenty-five years ago, when he was just 16 years old, Jimmy made a horrible decision to commit a crime which resulted in 13 ½ years of incarceration. It was during his time in a Los Angeles juvenile detention facility that he was introduced to IOW and became one of the organization’s first creative writing students. His firsthand experience growing up in California's detention facilities drove him to become an outspoken advocate for juvenile justice reform.


Jimmy's work at IOW includes arranging and providing direct reentry services and support to young people returning to their communities. He also oversees administrative responsibilities and actively fundraises on behalf of InsideOUT Writers. It is his hope that the young people IOW works with will learn from his mistakes and choose not to walk down the wrong path, as he once did. In his 9 years on staff at IOW, Jimmy has embraced other roles as IOW’s Case Manager and Alumni Advocacy Director, followed by Interim Executive Director, and now Executive Director.

In addition to his work at IOW, Jimmy was also a voting member of a historic initiative called the Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Work Group formed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In this role, he has voted on community safety strategies and was charged with helping develop a roadmap to prioritize reforms and solutions for all justice-impacted populations. He was also involved with The Ride Home Program, part of the Stanford Law School's Justice Advocacy Project, providing free and safe transportation, mental health services and re-entry support to nonviolent inmates sentenced to life under California's "three strikes" sentencing law. 

Personal journeys deepen into resolute purpose, guiding his mission to advocate for change. In May 2021, Jimmy was named in Good Morning America's "Who is Making AAPI History in 2021: The GMA Inspiration List." 

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