Sugam Soni

Staff Attorney

Dark skinned man sitting in public with a glass in his hand

Sugam is a Staff Attorney with the Civil Survival Project. Sugam works to help people across Washington recover from collateral consequences of the criminal justice system. Sugam has worked on a wide range of legal services including criminal record vacates, remission of legal financial obligations (LFOs), clemency/pardon petitions and restoration of rights.

Before coming to CSP, Sugam was a felony trial attorney for the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. As a public defender, Sugam was responsible for managing an entire felony caseload from first appearance to disposition. Sugam first chaired 20+ jury trials ranging from misdemeanors to capital felonies. Sugam was also the crim-immigration liaison for his office assisting fellow attorneys navigate immigration consequences following conviction.

Sugam received his juris doctorate from University of San Francisco School of Law in 2016. He is currently licensed to practice law in Washington and Colorado.

In his spare time, Sugam enjoys spending time with his dog, visiting family and friends, and exercising or playing recreational sports.

Tina Woods

Legal Assistant

Tina Woods is the Legal Assistant for Civil Survival Project. Tina first became involved with Civil Survival Project when she attended the Kitsap County Game Changers meeting after running into her old friend Cory Walster. She was able to successfully navigate the process of LFO relief on her own for herself and her husband prior to becoming involved with CSP and wanted to help others gain relief as well.

Tina is formerly incarcerated and left prison in 2010 with a strong desire to turn her life around. She struggled with addiction for most of her life stemming from childhood abuse and abandonment issues which led to poor choices and arrest. Tina successfully graduated from the Kitsap County Dependency Drug Court Program in 2011 and had her kids returned home shortly after leaving incarceration.

Tina graduated from Olympic College where she obtained her Associates Degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Chemical Dependency Counseling. She also obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus in 2015. Prior to working with Civil Survival Tina worked at various treatment and mental health agencies in Kitsap County. Her most recent work was completing DOSA assessments for clients with legal issues and substance use disorders to help them get treatment as part of their sentence. She understands the issues our clients deal with because she has the lived experience of dealing with these same issues herself. Her goal is to help lessen the barriers people experience when they have a criminal record so they have a fair chance at turning their lives around.

Kelly Olson

Policy Manager

Kelly Olson is the Policy Manager for the Civil Survival Project. Kelly started as the Thurston County Game Changer leader in October 2018.

After leaving prison in 2007, Kelly used education and volunteering in her community to help rebuild her life. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and an emphasis in communications and public policy. She graduated from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy in 2013 with an Executive Master’s in Public Administration. Prior to joining Civil Survival Project fulltime, Kelly was working for the state at the Washington Student Achievement Council, where she worked as a state regulator in postsecondary degree authorization.

Although Kelly achieved academic success and became a leader in her community through her volunteer work, some paid positions with nonprofit organizations, and interning at the Washington State Senate, she struggled to find a living wage job due to the collateral consequences of being formerly incarcerated. After a decade of struggling to survive in a society that consistently told her she wasn’t welcome, she realized it was time to advocate for herself, and all the others trying to rebuild their lives after incarceration. She has found her voice and is using her story to advocate for systemic change for all justice-involved individuals.

Kelly has been appointed by the Thurston County Commissioners to the Thurston County Law & Justice Council, serves on the advisory council for the Husky Post – Prison Pathways (HP3) at the University of Washington Tacoma, and What’s Next Washington’s Employment Advisory Council. Kelly also is involved with national organizations like Unlock Higher Ed and the Formerly Incarcerated College Graduate Network.

Julie Musgrove

Operations Manager

Julie Musgrove is the Operations Manager for Civil Survival Project. She started with Civil Survival Project in November of 2020.

Julie is passionate about criminal justice reform and mental health care. Julie has experience working as a mental health counselor and nonprofit program manager and over ten years of administrative and operations experience. Julie is a student at Washington State University, and her goal is to earn her Master’s in Social Work.

Julie is also a mother of 2, and in her free time, she enjoys concerts, standup comedy, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Cory Walster

Community Organizer

Cory Walster smiles at the camera. Bearded face with round black-framed glasses wearing a black Civil Survival t-shirt

Cory Walster is the Community Organizer for the Civil Survival Project. He started with Civil Survival as a volunteer three years ago, was one of the original founding board members, and has led the Kitsap County Game Changer group since 2018. He is a father of two children, a son and a daughter, and he’s a registered member of the Oglala tribe of the Lakota Nation. Cory’s passion for this work stems from his own lived experiences with the systems of oppression and his incarceration in four of the Washington State prisons. After release from prison, Cory found himself as a single parent to his daughter and struggling to overcome the many legal restrictions and barriers for people upon reentry. However, he did not realize the power of sharing his story until finding others in Civil Survival to connect with and learned how to get before decision-makers and elected officials.

In addition, Cory is passionate about school push-out, and it fueled him to organize with others after his daughter was being suspended due to her mental health issues. His contributions to the work of Civil Survival are bountiful, but he is most proud of his position on the Central Kitsap School District Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee, where he was an integral part of redrafting the discipline code to keep children in a learning environment.

He is generous with his time and talents and is highly active with other groups and committees in the community. He values advancing racial equity in all of his work and building relationships with others who have been impacted by any systems of oppression.

Cory is also a skilled gardener in his free time and enjoys sharing his harvest with other activists and organizers.

Corey Guilmette

Legal and Policy Directory

Corey is the Legal and Policy Director at Civil Survival Project. Corey directs Civil Survival’s Reentry Legal Aid Project (RLAP), which assists individuals across Washington in overcoming the collateral consequences of their criminal convictions. Corey also oversees Civil Survival’s policy advocacy, which seeks to eliminate reentry barriers and create a system that provides holistic support to individuals in their reentry. Corey has served as a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor at Seattle University School of Law, where he instructed and supervised students as they represented clients in reentry law cases.

Prior to joining Civil Survival, Corey was the Legal Services Director at the Public Defender Association (PDA). While at PDA, Corey led efforts to reform King County’s inquest process, which provides a public review of any death involving law enforcement. Corey represented families in inquest hearings and litigation before the Washington Supreme Court. Corey also represented Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) clients with a variety of legal issues, ranging from eviction defense to employment advocacy.

Corey is a graduate from Wesleyan University. He went on to receive his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Tarra Simmons

Founding Director

Tarra Simmons is the Founding Director of the Civil Survival Project. In 2020, Tarra was also elected to the Washington State Legislature. She represents the 23rd Legislative District and is excited about the opportunity to make a more significant impact while serving the community in this role.

Her commitment to this work stems from her own experiences as a survivor of multiple forms of violence, poverty, and substance use disorder. She believes those closest to the problem are closest to the solution and should have an integral role in leading the end of mass incarceration and healing its aftermath. It was this core belief that guided her career path in advocacy. Prior to law school, Ms. Simmons was incarcerated for reasons related to her childhood trauma and substance use disorder.

She graduated from Seattle University School of Law in May 2017, magna cum laude, with the Dean’s Medal and the Graduating Student Award, but was initially denied the right to take the bar exam because of her criminal history. It was national news when the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in her favor, allowing her to take the bar exam and become a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

Today, Ms. Simmons is an inaugural member of the Council on Criminal Justice and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Economic Opportunity Institute. Tarra is a 2018 JustLeadership USA Fellow and was recently honored with the WACDL Champion of Justice, the YWCA Woman of Achievement award, and the US Senator Patty Murray Golden Tennis Shoe. She frequently speaks on issues relating to access to justice, criminal justice, sentencing, and prison reform.

Charlie Klein

Staff Attorney

Charlie Klein a Staff Attorney with the Reentry Legal Aid Program (RLAP). Prior to joining the Civil Survival Project, Charlie was a civil attorney with the King County Department of Public Defense where he worked with clients on navigating the collateral consequences of their involvement in the criminal legal system, and on removing barriers to successful reentry. Charlie has also served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings and as a Housing Attorney with Bronx Legal Services in New York. Charlie earned his JD from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

When not working with clients to dismantle systems of oppression, Charlie enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, distance running, and generally exploring the world’s many wonders.