A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses.
At Rise Up Industries (www.riseupindustries.org) change doesn’t come quickly and the numbers of those enrolled or completing the program may not initially impress. But for the four graduates of the 18- month program, it’s been a godsend.
In addition to extensive classroom and on-the-job training to operate computerized machinery, the ex-offenders who are the focus of Rise Up also receive comprehensive counseling and real-life skills to improve their chances of surviving in the free world, and don’t slide back into the criminal life.
Rise Up is modeled after a gang prevention/intervention program launched in Los Angeles by Fr. Gregory Boyle in the late 1980s. Today, Homeboy Industries is a diversified nonprofit that employs more than 200 people and makes a major difference in combating the gang culture in the nation’s second largest city.
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