Our Model for Change

Our approach is based on a simple idea: that a small group of attorneys and advocates could disrupt cycles of poverty and incarceration by transferring powerful knowledge and skills to the enormous number of people directly impacted by the criminal justice system, and the families and communities that support them. With such a severe "justice gap" in our country and only one legal aid attorney for every 8,000 indigent people in California, we created a model of support and empowerment that goes beyond the traditional 1-1 client-attorney relationship. 

Our approach is based on three principles:

1.     Education Empowers: The transfer of knowledge and skills from attorneys and advocates to the people most impacted by the criminal justice system, their families, and the communities that support them can disrupt cycles of poverty and incarceration. Knowledge breeds power.

2.     Strengthen and Unite the Existing Infrastructure: Countless families, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies are already working to help individuals returning to their communities from prison and jail. We believe that by supporting, strengthening and connecting the reentry infrastructure, we directly improve outcomes for those coming home.

3.     Universal Access: Reentry from confinement is confusing and intimidating. No one should suffer because they can’t afford an attorney to help them navigate the process. We work to ensure that our knowledge and expertise is given freely and openly to everyone with a personal stake in the reentry experience.

Our Programs & Services

"roadmap to reentry" Education

Through our "Roadmap to Reentry" legal guide and toolkits, and community trainings, we work to expand the knowledge of community-based organizations, government agencies, and people with arrest and conviction histories across California. This education focuses on improving "reentry readiness"--so that people in reentry and those who support them are prepared to navigate hurdles to employment, housing, financial stability, family issues, and education.

In addition to our in-person trainings, in October 2016, we launched the first-ever online training hub for people in reentry - the first of its kind in the United States. You can visit the Online Training Hub for video-based trainings and related exercises here: http://reentrytraininghub.org/


In conjunction with "Roadmap to Reentry" guide and educational resources, we provide direct support to people working through reentry barriers. Root & Rebound operates a Reentry Legal Hotline every Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. that is open for anyone in California with reentry-related legal issues, questions, or concerns. Our hotline number is 510-279-4662.

We also respond to hundreds of letters each week from people currently incarcerated, requesting resources and seeking legal guidance. If you or a loved one needs assistance and cannot call or go online, please write to us at: Root & Rebound, 1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612. 


Our policy advocacy and systems reform strategies encourage federal, state, and local governments and agencies to create smarter reentry policies that promote the well-being of individuals and their communities. We communicate our learnings on the ground to local and state governments and advocacy groups. 

If you or someone you know are in reentry and having an issue with discrimination, restrictions of your rights and freedoms, issues with an administrative process, or a denial of services of benefits, tell us about it here, and we will do our best to incorporate your words into our policy advocacy work (Please note: we cannot guarantee our staff will be able to get back to you directly).

NOTE: Root & Rebound also creates statewide and national reentry resources. Please click here to see our most recent publications. For a full list of current News & Reports click here for the Root & Rebound blog.