As the Director of Freedom House USA, Jason oversees the day to day operation for each living environment. He conducts the initial intake of the clients into their living arrangement, approves all residents for the Transitional Living Homes, submits all discharge paperwork, develops transition plans for all residents, facilitates groups and one-on-one sessions and carries a caseload of 18 men.
Born in 1955 and adopted to first generation Americans, Jonathan Todd Gottlieb, AKA “Jason”, was in trouble very early in life. Placed as a ward of the court at age 13, he was a constant resident of juvenile facilities, boy’s homes, ranches and the California Youth Authority. In 1980, he participated in the taking of a human life as an associate shot a man at his own home. Faced with the death penalty he pled nolo contendre and was sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison. As an indeterminately sentenced prisoner, Mr. Gottlieb worked hard to change himself and secure his parole and thus his liberty to become a constructive and positive citizen. After serving 25 years, 5 months and eight days he was paroled to southern California. His parole term was for five (5) years of which he did every single day successfully cooperating until an honorable discharge was given September 3, 2010. His Central file is now collecting dust in archives in Sacramento.
As a formerly incarcerated person, one of Gottlieb’s strengths is being able to recognize and dialogue with the many who are struggling with identity and coping with decision-making. Mr. Gottlieb, who has been clean and sober since 1987, thirty-one years to date, has the motivation and credibility to assist in the lives of at-risk individuals and people suffering from the disease of addiction along with the cycle of incarceration. As part of his journey to freedom, the Board of Paroles granted Mr. Gottlieb parole four (4) consecutive times, at the time the only such case in California correctional history. Governor Schwarzenegger ultimately affirmed the fourth parole decision on July 26, 2005. Mr. Gottlieb’s wealth of experience in the correctional system enables him to communicate a unique perspective of the road from incarceration to rehabilitation.
Mr. Gottlieb is now employed at Freedom Through Education as a Director of all Freedom House USA properties. Along with this he provides clinical work as he facilitates curriculum on such topics as Male Accountability, The Male Role Belief System, Re-entry and Socialization, Life Skills, Addictions and Violence Prevention. The many participants who attend his presentational sessions view these sessions as a vehicle to attaining an insight into who they are, where they are and where they dream to go. Having committed himself to the goal of attaining maturity and self-empowerment following entry into the California prison system at age 24, Mr. Gottlieb demonstrates that the incarcerated can make meaningful and lasting changes. An individual’s focus on goal setting and having a no-compromise attitude concerning integrity lends credence to sobriety, educational achievements and liberties of the mind. Attaining the wherewithal to be able to discuss and confront one’s own checkered past in a humble and accepting way toward contrition and amends making follows a time-tested path of forgiveness and enlightenment. “Change is possible” is Mr. Gottlieb’s message of hope. Jason Gottlieb now resides out in the community of Elk Grove, California with his wife Denise.