SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Safe Communities Reentry Council (SCRC) will hold its 2nd Annual Reentry Summit, “Working Together to Support San Franciscans After Incarceration,” on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 from 8:30AM to 4PM at Jack Adams Hall, César Chávez Student Center, San Francisco State University.
The SCRC Reentry Summit, “Working Together to Support San Franciscans After Incarceration,” sponsored by The California Endowment and the San Francisco State Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, was developed as a forum for community dialogue on how to improve services for formerly incarcerated individuals reentering society and to explore strategies for reducing recidivism and crime.
The Summit will feature a plenary panel discussion with leaders from San Francisco’s criminal justice system, including Public Defender Jeff Adachi, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Sheriff Michael Hennessey, and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. Over a dozen community-based service providers and formerly incarcerated individuals and their family members will engage in deep dialogue about how incarceration impacts families and communities, and how to design services that meet the needs of the individual. JoAnn Mar, public radio producer, will moderate the panel discussions. Luis J. Rodriguez, activist and writer of Always Running, La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A., will give a keynote address on reducing violence through successful reentry.
According to Public Defender Adachi, “The collateral consequences of a conviction make it nearly impossible for many people to get jobs and housing once out of prison. Many convicted drug felons are permanently banned from receiving food stamps, and drug convictions can prevent a person from receiving student loans or public assistance. These social and legal barriers essentially set ex-offenders up for failure. This Summit will focus on how we as a City can help individuals reentering our communities overcome these obstacles and thereby reduce recidivism and enhance safety on our streets.”
In 2005, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi convened the SCRC in order to implement policies and programs that reduce recidivism and facilitate successful reentry for probationers and parolees returning to San Francisco. Participants in the SCRC include research institutions such as the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and service providers such as Walden House, SFSU Project Rebound and City College’s Second Chance Program. Cooperation and input from formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as parole and probation administrators and service providers, has been a key factor in the Council’s success.
A free copy of Getting Out & Staying Out: A Guide to San Francisco Resources for People Leaving Jails and Prisons will be distributed to Summit participants. This comprehensive resource guide, created to help recently released individuals navigate San Francisco’s public benefits, housing, health and employment service programs, is the culmination of months of successful collaboration between the San Francisco Safe Communities Reentry Council, the San Francisco Reentry Council, and an array of community-based partners.