For The People and Center for Employment Opportunities Partner to Provide Cash Assistance and Reintegration Services to Those Released with New Conviction in California
The initiative provides cash allowances and offers immediate access to work and support services to those released from prison through prosecutor-initiated solitary confinement.
OAKLAND, California, September 22, 2021 / PRNewswire / – For the people – the national non-profit association that works with prosecutors to address excessive sentences – today announced its partnership with The Job Opportunities Center (CEO). CEO provides immediate, effective and comprehensive employment services exclusively to those recently released from custody. The two organizations are teaming up to deliver the CEO’s Citizen Return Incentive (RCS) program to those released from California prisons by prosecutors, an innovation known as prosecutor-initiated confinement.
Prosecutor-initiated sentencing is the process developed by For The People to help prosecutors address unfair and excessive sentences. Thanks to PIR, over 75 amazing people returned home to their families and communities. This is in large part thanks to a highly collaborative model involving community leaders, elected prosecutors and public advocates.
In april 2020, CEO designed and implemented the RCS program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With over $ 24 million already distributed, it is the largest cash transfer program ever designed specifically for those formerly incarcerated. The program helps those affected by justice overcome common financial barriers they face upon reintegration. RCS applicants receive three cash payments totaling up to $ 2,750. Recipients also have the option of participating in the CEO program which includes immediate work and daily compensation, professional coaching and placement, and retention services.
In 2018, For The People passed the country’s first law allowing prosecutors to review and correct excessive sentences in California. Today, Washington, Illinois, and Oregon defended their own laws, modeled on California law. With more people returning home through this mechanism than ever before, cash assistance is a crucial part of the return journey.
“When we first heard about the CEO’s RCS program, we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” said the founder and executive director of For The People’s. Hillary Blouton. “The cash assistance and the CEO program is exactly what the people we have worked with to bring home need. The CEO offers concrete reintegration incentives that lead to increased programming, post-exit growth and economic mobility. We have already seen success in the stories of people like Alwin smith, who received RCS funds allowing her to get a phone to connect with her out-of-state family, start her job search, and more. There are so many stories like hers that haven’t been told yet. “
“We are delighted to offer the RCS program to those released through the innovative model of solitary confinement initiated by the For The People prosecutor in California,” noted Sam schaeffer, CEO of the CEO. “RCS is designed to provide immediate financial support and direct access to structured and local community support services for returning citizens who face many barriers upon return. The CEO congratulates For The People, prosecutors, public defenders and participating community groups for paving the way to advance this work in California and beyond.”
The partnership between For The People and The Center for Employment Opportunities will help strengthen the pathways to reintegration, a crucial element for every returning citizen that For The People helps develop. By providing cash assistance and comprehensive employment services, CEO lays the foundation for those affected by justice to build a strong future for themselves, their families and their communities. In turn, prosecutors who engage in sentencing can be assured that returning citizens are provided with the resources necessary for a successful reintegration.
ABOUT THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES CENTER (CEO)
The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides immediate, effective and comprehensive employment services exclusively to those recently released from custody. CEO currently operates in over 30 cities and is committed to ensuring that job seekers affected by justice have opportunities for social and economic mobility. For more information, please visit: https://ceoworks.org
ABOUT FOR THE PEOPLE (FTP)
For The People is a national non-profit organization that activates the power of prosecutors to remedy excessive sentences. In 2018, the organization wrote and worked to pass the country’s first-ever prosecutorial imprisonment law, AB 2942, in California. Today, For The People works with more than a dozen elected prosecutors to increase the uptake of prosecutor-initiated solitary confinement, providing political and technical support nationwide. Ultimately, For The People works with prosecutors, people affected by the system, and community organizations to reunite families and restore communities decimated by mass incarceration. To learn more, visit foreppl.org.
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SOURCE for the people; The Job Opportunities Center