Investing in rehabilitation ensures individual success and saves tax dollars in the long-term
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(LTR) Controller Betty Yee; Jason Bryan (CROP) – Director of Ready for Life Program; Terah Lawyer-Harper (CROP) – Executive Director; Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo.
(SACRAMENTO) – The California State Legislature, with the leadership of California State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) and California State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), has invested in a new, ground-breaking reentry program managed by Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs (CROP). The $28.5M funds a three-year pilot program Ready for Life, launching in the Spring of 2022. This historic investment was announced today during a press conference held at the California State Capitol.
Controller Betty Yee and Assemblywoman celebrate this historic investment with the CROP Leadership Team.
“This program is monumental by focusing on rehabilitation and investing in individuals to restart their lives, reunite with their families and succeed in our communities,” says Assemblymember Carrillo. “As the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee that oversees housing and workforce development, it is an important priority on mine to invest in holistic programs directed at addressing all hurdles to successful reentry.”
“CROP, led by system-impacted people, is well poised to help us ensure that those returning home can successfully restart their lives after incarceration,” State Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) states. “While California has made strides to reduce our recidivism rate, it remains too high. I’m pleased and proud to support this important investment into CROP’s Ready for Life three-year pilot program.”
“Each human being amongst us has value, brings value, and when we look at the world around us today, we need to do much more in terms of lifting each other up,” said State Controller Betty Yee. “So, I think this is really symbolic in terms of the type of investment we should be making today here in California, and really, beyond California.”
(LTR) Controller Betty Yee and Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo with the CROP Leadership Team; Richard Mireles, Jason Bryan, Terah Lawyer-Harper, Ted Gray, Matt Braden, and Alfred Cheung, GoodMojo CEO/Founder.
CNN correspondent and CROP Board Member Lisa Ling remarks, “What they are trying to do with CROP is going to transform the lives of so many people amidst this crisis of incarceration that we find ourselves in.”
“Our Ready for Life reentry program requires applicants to demonstrate their commitment to becoming better citizens and long-term dedication to public service,” says newly appointed Executive Director Terah Lawyer. “The program is the first of its kind and based upon firsthand experiences of its founders, all of whom have served time themselves.”
“We need Re-Entry programs to help justice involved individuals become contributing members of society,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “These individuals are ready, but due to their background, face steep barriers to receive the resources they need. It is time we change that. I was proud to partner with Assemblywoman Carrillo and successful efforts and will be back at it with a companion legislative proposal in 2022."
To initiate this effort, in 2022, CROP will launch two programs – a residential career campus in downtown Oakland and a center-based program located within a partnering community college in the City of Los Angeles. These two programs are a direct result of the $28.5M secured for these statewide resources.
With over 9,000 incarcerated people released from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) yearly and recidivism rates at nearly 53%, CROP is eager to scale its reentry services and workforce development programming across the state.
Partnered with researchers at UC Berkeley’s The People Lab and San Francisco-based technology company GoodMojo, CROP will provide the Legislature with regular data-focused updates to ensure success throughout the pilot program.
"GoodMojo is excited to be partnering with the State and Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs (CROP) to facilitate the delivery of coordinated services and provide real time access to service and accountability data,” comments Alfred Cheung, Chief Executive Officer of GoodMojo based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
CROP founders Ted Gray and Jason Bryant were granted clemency by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020.