Building a Community-Focused Path to Re-entry
Approximately 40,000 adults are under the supervision of the Los Angeles County Probation Department. To help these individuals successfully reintegrate into communities, the department is working to increase community engagement, peer mentorship, and access to comprehensive wraparound services for justice-involved individuals. To advance these efforts, FUSE executive fellow Amy Cross helped research best practices in community-based reintegration and identified opportunities to make county services more responsive to the needs of communities. Amy guided the planning for a day-long re-entry symposium that brought together more than 900 stakeholders from across sectors, including people with lived experience, to identify missing services and clarify how to distribute resources more effectively. She developed and proposed a strategy for a peer mentorship program that would connect justice-involved young adults to mentors with relevant life experience who can inspire new attitudes, increase engagement with programs and services, and offer a clearer pathway to successful community re-entry. Amy also helped key stakeholders, such as county and community-based service providers and leaders, develop a shared vision and mission for the county’s first community re-entry center. Her work helped the department improve its collaboration with outside agencies, community partners, and justice-involved individuals, laying the foundation for successful future collaboration and countywide replication.