California

Apr 15, 2022   |  By Dympna Ugwu-Oju (via The Fresno Bee)

Broken Ladders: 15 years in prison taught Fresno man lessons about life and redemption

Programs like the Center for Employment Opportunities make all the difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated people, like Christopher Williams, 37, who now works as an assistant at the CEO office in Fresno, doing office work and filling in wherever he is needed.

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Apr 13, 2022   |  By Dympna Ugwu-Oju (via The Fresno Bee)

Broken Ladders: How a new Fresno program is helping 68-year-old parolee restart life

Timothy Rodriguez was serving a 20 years to life jail term when Gov. Gavin Newsom commuted his sentence in March 2021 because of his age (68) and vulnerability to COVID.

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Apr 11, 2022   |  By Quiana Pugh

The Need for Consistent SNAP Benefits During Reentry

Jordan, a Center for Employment Opportunities participant in San Diego, didn't think he'd need access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). While transitioning back home, Jordan's sober living facility provided meals. Even if he had been eligible, Jordan didn't want to apply for a benefit he didn't need ...

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Apr 10, 2022   |  By The Fresno Bee

Broken Ladders: New program gives formerly incarcerated people chance to work, restart life

When 37-year-old Christopher Williams was released from the Corcoran State Prison after serving 15 years for second-degree murder, he found his trials were far from over.

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Mar 25, 2022   |  By Eric Borsuk

Jose’s RCS Story: Without the Returning Citizens Stimulus, “I Would Have Come Home to Nothing”

“Growing up, I always wanted to be popular and fit in,” Jose says. “That’s basically how it all started.” Raised in South Sacramento, he insists the desire for acceptance early in life contributed to his incarceration. Eventually, Jose started hanging out with some local gang members, mostly for the parties ...

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Mar 08, 2022   |  By The Fresno Bee

Broken Ladders: Climbing the economic ladder in Fresno can be tough. Here's why

Americans love rags-to-riches stories. But Fresno, like many cities in the U.S., has not shown itself to be a city of opportunities, especially for certain populations. Social and economic mobility are limited — a lingering product of Fresno’s history of racism, segregation and redlining.

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Feb 24, 2022   |  By The Guardian

California gives people leaving prison just $200 to start over. After 50 years, that could change

A California lawmaker wants to increase the allowance that people released from prison receive to cover basic needs for the first time in nearly 50 years.

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Jan 12, 2022   |  By Eric Borsuk

Aaron’s Story: From Prison to Business Owner

“I come from a gang background,” Aaron says. “I’ve always had a street mentality, that was just my life.” Growing up surrounded by street gangs in Northern California’s East Bay, Aaron says that he always expected to end up in prison one day, and unfortunately, his fears eventually became a ...

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Oct 25, 2021   |  By THE EAST County Gazette

Released Prisoners May Receive $2,750 in Direct Cash Assistance?

What happens if the state gives direct cash assistance—$2,750 spread out over three payments to released prisoners? This is what the state of California is trying out. A law now allows prosecutors to recommend incarcerated people for release if that person received a particularly excessive sentence, or has shown that ...

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Oct 25, 2021   |  By Freethink.com

Prisoners will get a $2,750 check when they leave prison

Gate money: The concept of “gate money” — a little bit of cash upon leaving prison — isn’t new. In fact, a lot of states send prisoners home with some funds in their pocket, generally at least enough for bus fare and a meal. But for most, the cash barely ...

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Oct 20, 2021   |  By The Crime Report

How $24M in Cash Grants Provided a Lifeline for Returning Citizens During Pandemic

Commentary by Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia: Navigating a return from prison or jail is hard even at the best of times. But during a pandemic it can be daunting. Scott, who was released from a California prison this year after serving six and a half years of a 10-year ...

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Oct 14, 2021   |  By Eric Borsuk

Scott's Story: How Cash Assistance During the Pandemic Led to a Full-Time Salaried Job With Benefits

Scott first heard about the Returning Citizen Stimulus (RCS) program while staying at a transition house near the San Bernardino Mountains in California. Since all of his family lived across the country, he didn’t have much support when returning from incarceration. A mortgage underwriter originally from Florida, Scott had been ...

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Sep 29, 2021   |  By Fast Company

This Program Is Testing What Happens When You Give Cash To People Leaving Prison

In California, a law allows prosecutors to recommend incarcerated people for release if that person received a particularly excessive sentence, or has shown that they’ve rehabilitated themselves while in prison. Now, 50 people who are released under that law will be part of a test: What happens if they also ...

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Jul 07, 2021   |  By SiliconValley.com

Opinion: Addressing biases and barriers can help solve worker shortage

Employers across California are asking, “Where can we find workers?” The truth is that many hundreds of thousands of Californians are locked out of opportunity. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Many of our state’s most pressing economic challenges are the consequence of inaction. In this case, more ...

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Apr 29, 2021   |  By San Francisco Chronicle

Google, nonprofits, to expand training for previously incarcerated people in Bay Area

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Apr 29, 2021   |  By Chase DiFeliciantonio

Google, nonprofits to expand training for previously incarcerated people in Bay Area

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Apr 26, 2021

Participant Success Story: Malik Talks About His Journey to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Alexa Harris

Alexa Harris (She/Her)Program Innovation Specialist, Career DevelopmentCEO Los Angeles

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Betty McKay

Betty McKayFormer ParticipantCEO Oakland

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Oct 23, 2020   |  By Times of San Diego

San Diego ‘Gets It Done’ — 7,000 Tons of Trash Removed from Public Spaces

Three years into a citywide effort to keep San Diego clean and safe, Mayor Kevin Faulconer brought together partners of the city’s Clean SD program Tuesday to highlight the progress in removing more than 7,000 tons of trash, debris and waste from public spaces across the city.

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Sep 10, 2018   |  Kusi News

San Diego Center for Employment Opportunities helps former inmates find jobs

One local organization is giving jobs to hundreds of people who were formerly incarcerated. Elizabeth Alvarez was live with Robert Smith from the Center for Employment Opportunities to talk about how the organization helps former inmates get back on their feet after prison.

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Dec 26, 2017   |  The San Bernardino Sun

How the Center for Employment Opportunities in San Bernardino gives those on probation or parole a second shot

SAN BERNARDINO – Inside an inconspicuous building on South E Street, Michael Wahome, Larry Bethea, Armando Lopez and a team of others are attempting to lower recidivism statistics one parolee, one probationer, one person at a time. Those at the Center for Employment Opportunities know what they’re up against: A ...

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