Bonnie Zabel is Nation Outside’s Northern Michigan Regional Coordinator. Bonnie became involved with criminal justice reform over 8 years ago when her 16 year old son was sentenced within the adult court system. Looking for help and support, she reached out to different advocacy groups and soon started volunteering on criminal justice issues.
Bonnie is devoted to culture change beginning with education on the benefits of second chances. She works to engage the public and strengthen communities to eliminate barriers to successful reentry. This is done by improving mental health services, increasing voting access and expungement opportunities, and promoting community partnerships for improved public safety. Bonnie has been to Capitol Hill numerous times to advocate for legislation and attend criminal justice reform hearings. She has consulted for, and organized with advocacy groups to recruit volunteer teams, attend and hold rallies, and host and engage in town hall meetings.
Bonnie earned an Associate Degree in General Psychology from Lansing Community College, and is a 2019 graduate of JustLeadershipUSA's Emerging Leaders training program. Since her son's incarceration, Bonnie started and maintains a successful small business, Bring Me Home Estate Sales L.L.C., where she has employed returning citizens and written letters of support on behalf of incarcerated citizens who are getting ready for parole.