Our Vision

We are all the community.


The Safe Return Project is an organization of formerly incarcerated individuals and their allies working to strengthen the relationship of people coming home from incarceration with the broader community. We understand that breaking the cycle of incarceration and crime will take positive leadership by formerly incarcerated residents contributing to the greater community. For the over six years we have carried out critical participatory Action research, community organizing, and policy advocacy to build community power and foster healing. The work of Safe Return and our communities has shifted the dominant narrative about who disproportionately impacted by criminalization but also about who is returning back to our communities. Our primary goal is to put the people closest to the pain of inequity at the center of the movement for First Chances.

Our accomplishments

  • Campaigned and won $5.2 million toward employment and services for formerly incarcerated residents under AB109

  • Interviewed more than 2,000 residents about their perspectives on how Richmond can become safer and healthier

  • Surveyed 104 returning citizens on parole and probation on their needs and concerns upon returning home to this community from incarceration

  • Worked with the City of Richmond to develop and adopt a 'Ban the Box' policy removing the question about whether you have ever been convicted of a felony form the city's job/housing applications

  • Have been featured in the articles in the SF Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, the Contra Costa Times, Richmond Confidential, and in various TV news segments




The Mission of Safe Return is to put an end to the mass incarceration of black people and people of color, and to re-enfranchise individuals and communities that have been disenfranchised by criminalization. Our overarching goal as an organization is to empower and increase the visibility of all those that have been impacted by the criminal justice system as a whole. We are invested in building a base of power at the political, social, and economic level of formerly incarcerated persons across the State of California, addressing the root causes of poverty and the impact that the criminal justice system has had on black people and communities of color. This kind of collective power will drive larger political strategies by the formerly incarcerated at the state level as well as the National level and will increase mobilization to fight for the rights and opportunity for all persons coming home from incarceration to be legally  protected from discrimination.