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Children of incarcerated parents Centerforce Edward Latessa

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Even though thousands of Oakland’s youth have had parents in prison or jails, there is no data on how many youth have been impacted.

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Two out of three kids who drop out of Oakland, CA's, public schools come into contact with the criminal justice system, according to an Oakland Unified School District report. In some of Oakland's poorest neighborhoods, more than half of high school students do not graduate.

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An estimated 297,000 children have a parent in a CA state prison or county jail. One former inmate vividly recalls the trauma of her then 5-year-old daughter witnessing one of her many arrests as the girl grabbed the officer's pants and cried, "Please don’t take my mommy away."

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Crime experts try to determine what does and doesn’t work in changing the behavior of the formerly incarcerated.

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Can role models improve an ex-con's chances of success? One former prisoner said he attended substance abuse and anger management classes, but that changing his idea of manhood made the biggest difference in being able to quit crime.

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Alameda County California has put together a comprehensive re-entry program to help ex-offenders surmount common hurdles. And for some, reentry requires adjustment to a shifting social landscape that bears little resemblance to the world one left behind.

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Behavioral-based programs for the formerly incarcerated are encouraged to teach them new skills and most importantly to prevent them from returning to prison.

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California's prison system reform effort is described as the biggest shift in the criminal justice system in the past 25 years. As counties move forward with their plans, issues have arisen about how the state has allocated funding.

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The cycling of mostly men of color through the California prison system and onto the streets of Oakland is a revolving door that impacts communities and the families that deal with having a brother, father, son or mother who has spent time in prison.

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