Since the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health directives and school closures that accompanied it, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has been working on innovative and creative ways to continue its mission of providing leadership to ensure students are prepared for success.
SCOE’s Adult Re-Entry programs for parolees and probationers are available in Sacramento, Yolo, and Placer Counties. During the pandemic, knowledgeable teams of case managers have found creative ways to keep life skills lessons, treatment, education, and job connections available while continuing to assist men and women during the often overwhelming transition from custody to community.
Ayaliya Birru is one of the recent success stories. Birru has been a client of the Placer Re-Entry Program (PREP) since June. She completed all of her classes, renewed her driver’s license, completed her second associate’s degree, and will start at California State University, Sacramento, in January. “If we’re not learning from what happened, we’ll end up back where we were,” said Birru. “The services PREP provides are very helpful, both mentally and emotionally.”
Another client, Dondrise Randle, works with the Adult Re-Entry program in Sacramento County—the Sacramento Community Based Coalition (SCBC). He completed his re-entry plan in November, taking many of the classes offered by the program. Thanks to his SCBC connections, Randle was able to secure a full-time job as a forklift operator at a linen service company in Sacramento and recently received a promotion.
Whether spending extra time on the phone or arranging virtual meetings, SCOE’s Adult Re-Entry staff have continued supporting their clients, despite the challenges. The investments the staff make in the long-term success of parolees and probationers impacts not only the clients themselves, but their families and the community.