While serving a 12-year sentence, Julio witnessed the profound pain of his peers and their intense desire to transform their lives. Guided by his faith and belief in his fellow man, Julio pledged to do all in his power to create a safe, supportive community for men and women affected by the justice system. So in 1999, Julio founded Exodus Transitional Community. Under his leadership, Exodus has served over 10,000 participants and has become one of the most successful re-entry programs in the United States.

As an advocate for personal transformation and systemic change, Julio travels to prisons across the northeast to meet with the men and women he left behind, along with local policymakers to build coalitions around justice reform. Julio serves on Governor Cuomo’s Council on Community Re-entry and Reintegration, which provides comprehensive, evidence-based solutions for obstacles facing formerly incarcerated individuals returning to neighborhoods across New York.

He is also a prominent member of Judge Jonathan Lippman’s commission on the study of closing Rikers. Julio and Exodus were highlighted in the 2004 Presidential State of the Union Address, and Julio was awarded the White House Champions of Change Award in 2016.

Julio and Exodus have been featured in the New York Times, the Economist, C-Span, NY Newsday, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, and MSNBC , and Julio received the 2010 “El Award” from El Diario La Prensa, which recognizes outstanding Latinos for their accomplishments and contributions to the Latino community. 

Julio holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany, a Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary, and is presently a Doctoral candidate in Ministry.