Every year, 50,000 people are released from California jails and prisons. Hundreds of thousands more are up for parole board hearings with the prospect of release.
These men and women have served their time — but life outside of prison has confinements of its own. There are over 44,000 federal, state and local legal restrictions on formerly incarcerated individuals.
These restrictions make re-entry extremely difficult. They erect barriers to employment, education and housing. They are so burdensome, in fact, that most never surmount them.
The majority of people released from prison either find themselves homeless, unemployed and, eventually, back in prison within just three years. With so many barriers to being successful within the bounds of the law, many turn to the same activities that sent them to prison in the first place.
And the cycle repeats itself.
What is Root & Rebound?
Established in 2013, Root & Rebound offers critical legal services and educational support to those re-entering their communities in seven counties in California.
To help formerly incarcerated individuals navigate the labyrinth of regulations surrounding successful re-integration, Root & Rebound offers several tools. The organization publishes a Roadmap to Re-entry guide with an online readership of 8,500.
A recent focus group found that 71% of those who received the re-entry guide are employed. What’s more, Root & Rebound has provided training on the re-entry process to nearly 6,000 individuals, including those who are currently or formerly incarcerated, their family members and service providers who support them and has helped still more impacted people via 10,000 hotline calls and prison legal mail.
Root & Rebound’s success
Ninety-three percent of Root and Rebound’s surveyed clients said their legal issue was resolved when helped by one of their attorneys.
Root & Rebound is one of a kind. Ninety-four percent of their clients surveyed reported that they have nowhere else to go for legal support, and 28 percent stated that they tried another legal aid organization prior to Root and Rebound — but were turned away.
Since 2013, Root & Rebound has helped thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals rejoin their communities, reunite with their families, find safe housing and more.
Stay tuned for more Safe Streets & Second Chances updates on organizations working to transform the lives of thousands of Americans and make our communities safer.