Root & Rebound's mission is to increase access to justice and opportunity for every individual with past justice system involvement. We achieve this through our three-pronged model for change: Educate. Advocate. Reform.

Why advocacy & direct services?  Many reentry legal barriers are harder to overcome without the direct legal advocacy and guidance of a trained lawyer. Guided by the self-determined goals and needs of our clients, our team of reentry attorneys provides direct legal services to people with past justice system involvement across the state of California through our Reentry Legal Hotline (runs every Friday)prison letter-writing service, and legal clinics. We now have attorneys based in Oakland, Fresno, and Los Angeles. Our attorneys also provide traveling clinics in tribal and rural communities across the state because we believe that no one should be denied reentry legal support because of where they live.

Please email Laura Merchant at to learn more about our Reentry Legal Hotline, prison letter-writing service, and community legal clinics, to attend or support as a caring volunteer!


Reentry Legal Hotline (Fridays)

We run a free Reentry Legal Hotline every Friday to provide legal expertise and advocacy to anyone with questions about how a criminal record impacts a person's legal rights. Note: We accept collect calls from currently incarcerated people.


Prison Legal Mail

In addition to calling our Friday Hotline, currently incarcerated people and anyone with limited phone access can write us confidential, legal mail. We receive 400+ letters per week, and are always looking for both volunteers to support with legal and nonlegal reentry questions!



Similar to our reentry legal hotline, we offer holistic, in-person reentry legal clinics in the Bay Area, Fresno/Central Valley, Los Angeles, and in tribal and rural communities across the state. Check out our full calendar of clinics, trainings, and other events by clicking the button below!

“I didn’t dream as big as I dream now  because a lot of options were not available to me. That is a biiiig thing. Now what I’m doing is meditating and asking for guidance and now I am figuring out what I want to do for my career. I could petition for school, get a degree. Might be a lawyer, might be a nurse — now i don’t know what I want to do ‘when I grow up’! The world is my oyster.”
— Robert, Tribal Reentry Legal Clinic Attendee


FRESNO reentry women's & employment initiative

Root & Rebound is thrilled to be opening an office in Fresno, CA, to serve women in reentry and women with criminal records/past justice system involvement to move through the hurdles and obstacles they face and change the systems and structures that create unnecessary barriers to opportunity. The focus is on women of color, especially African American and Latina women, who too often get left out of reentry and criminal justice reform efforts. Their experiences and voices must be at the center for real change to happen.

A three-person team, including of a reentry attorney, case manager, and employment coach, will work on-site to empower women in the program and their families by creating pathways to employment and financial stability. 


  • Individual and Family Counseling
  • Referrals to Social Services
  • Financial Assistance
  • Individual Career and Financial Coaching
  • Employment Connections
  • Individual Legal Consultations
  • Legal Representation
  • Group Trainings
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Peer Support
  • Community Legal Clinics (open to all)


  • Looking to partner? Please contact Sonja at about any ideas you have for collaboration—we would love to be working in partnership with you!
  • Interested in joining our Fresno Team? The office will be launching Late Summer of 2018, and career opportunities will be posted on our Careers Page very soon!