‘Hangover’ producer elected to community college board


Courtesy of Scott Budnick

Scott Budnick, executive producer of “The Hangover” movies “Insurgent” March 20, 2015 “The Gunman” “Danny Collins”.

On Mar. 5, executive producer of “The Hangover” series, Scott Budnick, was elected to the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges.

Senators voted 29-6 in support of Budnick.

It may seem strange for a producer who makes comedic, R-rated movies that consist of drugs, alcohol, graphic sexual images and explicit language. However, Budnick’s work with formerly incarcerated youth may be a factor in his election to the Board of Governors.

Aside from being a film producer, Budnick is also the founder and president of The Anti-Recidivism-Coalition (ARC), which is a non-profit organization to support formerly incarcerated youth and stop others from entering the criminal justice system. He founded the organization in 2013.

Since being appointed to the Board of Governors, Budnick’s been working with California Community College districts on expanding educational opportunities for former incarcerated youth. He’s focusing on expanding college programs in prisons, according to the ARC Associate Director of Development and Communications, Caitlin Ahearn.

Budnick’s inspiration for helping incarcerated youth began in 1997 when the producer of “Baywatch” approached him with an article and told him to see if a movie could be made out of it. The synopsis of the story involved four adolescents buying marijuana from a kid who ended up getting stabbed by one of them. The injured kid’s dad was an LAPD officer who used his power and influence to convict all four kids for stabbing his son. In the end, all four adolescents were charged with first-degree murder with no chance of parole, even though only one kid touched the weapon. This was Budnick’s first exposure to this type of injustice, according to an interview in Mother Jones magazine.

This injustice to young prisoners has been the reason why Budnick now has helped many young people who have wanted a second chance to make something of their lives.

Although his work is to help improve the lives of youth who have committed crimes as minors, Republican Senator Jim Nielsen has said he’s concerned that Budnick sees these youth as being treated unjustly rather than being responsible for their own actions.

However, Budnick has been an advocate for the youth that have made mistakes, and has worked to help kids get an education behind bars.

According to Ahearn, Budnick helped launch the first online college program at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California.

His work to improve the lives of young, former prisoners has made a huge impact on the lives of many youth in the Los Angeles area. It seems out of the ordinary for a guy from Hollywood to help kids in prison, but Budnick has been passionate about supporting kids in the criminal justice system and has proven that he cares about helping youth turn their lives around for a better life.