Arianna Mellinger works for a local mental health authority and provides substance use counseling services in deep rural east Texas. She has experienced indirect impact by the criminal judicial system with both parents having been incarcerated at separate times, and later being directly impacted herself, spending time incarcerated in the federal system. Arianna graduated from Houston Community College with a certification as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. Her previous work includes providing peer support services for The Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) in Houston. She uses her lived experience to connect with youth and adults as they struggle with barriers such as mental health concerns and chemical dependency. She also holds a Justice Involved Peer Support Specialist certification, as well as being a Recovery Peer Support Specialist, and LCDC-CI. Arianna is passionate about the intersection of youth and the carceral system and believes in alternatives to incarceration.