- Francisco Quintana
- Communications Director
- (916) 319-2052
OAKLAND, CA – Today, Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, a leading advocate for the Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs (CROP) organization, ushered in the grand opening of the Ready 4 Life program’s Oakland facility. The groundbreaking reentry program, Ready 4 Life, is designed to reduce California’s recidivism rate and jumpstart successful tech-focused careers for justice-involved individuals.
Under the leadership of Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), the California State Legislature has invested $27M in budget funds for the three-year pilot program, a historic investment in California’s efforts to promote a successful transition back into society for those who have taken all of the necessary steps to foster a full rehabilitation. Assemblywoman Carrillo, chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration, and long-time restorative justice advocate, issued the following statement in light of the new program’s launch:
“Today we celebrate this incredible investment and take pride in the work being done to restore justice, to restore hope and to restore our faith in healing and second chances. California’s investment in CROP includes a three-year pilot program offering justice-involved Californians integrated reentry case management, workforce and housing services. CROP will launch two programs – a residential career campus in downtown Oakland which we are here to celebrate and a center-based program located within a partnering community college in Los Angeles.”
“The State of California has done a lot of work to end regressive policies that have for decades disproportionately impacted low-income communities and people of color. Through the state budget, the Legislature created a justice and values driven budget that puts healing and people first. CROP’s $27 million state budget allocation will provide us with real-time data for effective oversight as we work on tackling re-entry issues like housing insecurity, skills and confidence building, workforce development and ultimately reduce recidivism. Investments like this are the necessary actions needed to undo the harms created by over policing in communities and statewide policies that have fueled mass incarceration and the growth of the prison industrial complex in California. Today is a new day in justice reform."
Over a period of three years, CROP will support more than 200 formerly incarcerated individuals through the new Ready 4 Life program at CROP’s new live-in career campus in Oakland. All program participants will be granted access to job-training, financial literacy, and leadership training aimed at helping them transition back into society and become productive members of their community. With the aim of creating pathways to tech-focused careers and the obtainment of permanent housing, CROP aims to ensure that homelessness and re-entry into the justice system are avoided.
“Holistic services aren’t just important–they’re paramount. It makes communities safer. It makes families closer. This is the pathway into more success for the community beyond the person who is formerly incarcerated,” said Terah Lawyer, CROP Executive Director. “You talk about the ripple effect of crime. This is the ripple effect of amends. This is how we repair our communities. This is how the voices of those who have been impacted by their own poor choices and incarceration can turn around and give back to their communities that are still struggling with crime.”
Each year, around 30,000 incarcerated people are released from the justice system, earning less than one third of the annual minimum wage salary in California and face an unfortunate recidivism rate of 53%. Building pathways to opportunities for skill-building and rehabilitation provide justice-involved individuals a better chance at success.
Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo was elected to the California State Assembly in December of 2017. She serves as the Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, and as a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Budget Sub. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation, Health, Housing and Community Development, Utilities and Energy, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies.