Past Partner Spotlight

Orange County Long Term Offender Conference (Featured May 2018)

Presented by the CDCR/DAPO Adult Program Unit, in conjunction with
The South Coast Parole District and Orange County Re-Entry Partnership (OCREP), agents discussed what it means to be a former Long Time Offender - what resources, obstacles and challenges they face. We also had 2 former lifer's speak to us about their journeys and where they are at now.

Juana Larios from the OC Probation Office presented about the county procurement process including tips and common mistakes on applications.

Jenny Hudson and Janel Alberts of OCHCA shared updates and current stats with the Prop 47 funding and projects. They will relay more information as needed through OCREP and the Prop 47 Advisory Committee.

Carole Urie of Returning Home Foundation presented the reentry resource guide that she created with members and how it is currently being used in the jails.

Chasing the Dragon - Opioid Awareness Event (Featured October 2017)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and many others. (EPIC Recovery Center)

Orange County drug and alcohol deaths have skyrocketed 82 percent since the millennium and hospitalizations cost more than $100 million a year, according to a major new OC Health Care Agency report. During 2013-2015, the county averaged about 5,500 drug and alcohol hospitalizations each year, and 700 deaths annual from substance abuse. (OC Register)

OCREP and the City of Anaheim Mayor Tait's Drug Free Anaheim partnered for a free screening of the FBI's documentary "Chasing the Dragon" followed by a discussion regarding the Opioid epidemic here in Orange County at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Department of Adult Parole Operations (Featured August 2017)

Brought to you by Parole Agency Representative Latisha Fairley, OCREP hosted a special general member meeting featuring Parole's Supervisory Agents. Topics included what is parole, what services/resources do they provide and how can community organizations better work with them for mutual clients. Gaps and challenges in services were discussed. Common themes were that Parole is in the business of motivating clients to succeed and are enthused to better collaborate with CBO's.

Have a question/concern or want to connect with Parole? Contact Latisha via our Advisory Committee page.

Reentry Employment (Featured July 2017)

Employment Committee Co-Chairs Stephanie Hammerwold (Pacific Reentry Career Services) and Ashley Baribeault-Vlcan (Working Wardrobes) presented on Fair Chance Hiring, Knowing Your Rights, Forming Relationships with Employers and WOTC Tax Credits/Incentives. Attendees engaged in a discussion on best practices and were able to share their methods of engaging employers/clients with one another. We look forward to follow up events regarding this important topic.

Meeting was hosted at Working Wardrobes in Irvine.

Policy & Civic Engagement (Featured May 2017)

Speakers Miguel Hernandez from OCCCO Pico, Carole Urie from Returning Home Foundation, Justin Cerrillo from the Orange County Public Defender Office and Suzanne Campbell from Project Kinship shared updates on current policies as well as how to get involved civically in your community. Hosted at partner agency Phoenix House in Santa Ana.

Stepping Up Initiative (Featured March 2017)

Each year, there are an estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses admitted to jails across the nation. Thats equivalent to the populations of Vermont and New Hampshirecombined. Almost three-quarters of these adults also have drug and alcohol use problems. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and upon release are at a higher risk of returning to incarceration than those without these illnesses.
The human toll of this problemand its cost to taxpayersis staggering.
OCREP Agency Representatives Geoff Henderson (OCSD) and Erik Wadsworth (OCPD) presented on what the overall initiative is and then what Orange County is currently doing for this project.
Hosted at the Probation Department GAO Office.

Intellectual Disabilities (Featured November 2016)

Many incarcerated individuals in Orange County may be affected by an intellectual disability. According to the National Institute on Health (NIH), intellectual disability refers to a group of disorders characterized by a limited mental capacity and difficulty with adaptive behaviors such as managing money, schedules and routines, or social interactions. Intellectual disability originates before the age of 18 and may result from physical causes, such as autism or cerebral palsy or from nonphysical causes, such as lack of stimulation and adult responsiveness.

Presenters included: Angela Guevara, Assistant Professor, Santiago Canyon College; Joe Dorchak, Counselor, Department of Rehabilitation; Jacqui Knudsen, Community Outreach Coordinator & Family Support, Regional Center of OC; Marsalee Malatesta LCSW, Program Director, Community Based Adult Services; Robert Morrill MSW, Rehabilitation Institute of Southern California and Linda Seppla, Associate Director, Integrated Resources Institute provided guidelines of assistance, services, and accommodations available in Orange County for individuals who may be affected by an intellectual disability.
Thank you to the Orange County One Stop Center in Irvine for hosting our event!

Re-Entry Employment (Featured September 2016)

Featured Speakers were Dean Bramlett, HR Manager from Crown ACE Hardware and Maria "Alex" Alexander, Executive Director from Center for Living and Learning. Moderator was Stephanie Hammerwold from Pacific Reentry Services. Presentation topics included: best practices in using criminal background checks in the hiring process, first person success stories of hiring the formally incarcerated, best practices in offering a position to a formally incarcerated individual, and more! Hosted at Working Wardrobes in Irvine.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health (Featured July 2016)

Speakers included Brendan Kavanaugh and Kristen Bonfiglio from Phoenix House and Karyn Mendoza representing the OC Mental Health Board who discussed substance abuse, informed trauma and mental health issues/concerns in Orange County. Phoenix House offered facility tours prior to the meeting.

Probation Department (Featured May 2016)

Dana Schultz, Probation Administrative & Fiscal Division Director and Bryan Prieto, Chief Deputy Probation Officer shared information on the newly re-released Recidivism Reduction Grant including challenges, new updates, who should apply and more as well as county processes for filing RFP's, Prop 47 updates and more.

Train-the-Trainer Event (Featured March 2016)

Topics Covered: Re-entry Train the Trainer: helping clients navigate systems.
Presentations by: Orange County Public Defender's Office: Prop 47 Forms - how to help clients apply for consideration
OC Health Agency/Behavioral Health Services - Drug Medi-Cal Services demonstration project
211OC - CalFresh and Medi-Cal Enrollment

Hosted at: The Village in Santa Ana by 211OC

Update from the Sheriff's Department on Evidence Based Model Community Corrections (Featured January 2016)

Guest Speaker: Geoff Henderson Orange County Sheriff's Department, Programs and Services Manager, OCREP Board Member

Geoff shared information on the TJC (Transition from Jails to Community) model. Describing the program from inception to current state as well as evidence based model community corrections. OCREP also recognized Sheriff's employees Jeffrie Anne Smith and Henry Mai for their many years of dedication and service to OCREP.

Hosted at: Working Wardrobes in Costa Mesa

Reentry Housing (Featured November 2015)

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Lee-Anderson, CLA & Associates, OCREP Board Member
Update on reentry housing in Orange County including common language, misconceptions, available resources an short comings followed by a group discussion on challenges and ideas surrounding the topic.

Hosted at: County Operations Center in Santa Ana

Reentry Employment (Featured September 2015)

Reentry Employment Topics Featuring Special Guest Speakers:
Jesse Stout from Legal Services of Prisoners with Children on Ban the Box Legislation
and Vickie Sanchez with EDD on Tax Credits and Bonding 

Hosted at The Village in Santa Ana by 211OC

Behavioral Health Topics (Featured July 2015)

Geoff Henderson (OCSD) Topic: Behavioral Health Research Trends in Criminal Justice
Mitch Cherness (OCHCA) Topic: OCs Continuum of Care
Dr. Donna Demerjian (Providence Community Services) Topic: Assertive Community Treatment
Negar Doroudian (OCHCA) Topic: Mental Health First Aid

Hosted at: Working Wardrobes in Costa Mesa

Orange County Reentry Resource Fair (Featured May 2015)

OCREP and BI Inc in partnership with CCCOE/CDCR Parolee Education Program hosted OCs first Reentry Resource Fair. A one-stop community resource fair for the formerly incarcerated and their families featuring over 50 local service providers.

Hosted at: Elks Lodge in Santa Ana

OC Public Safety & Reentry Conference (featured March 2015)

All day event hosted by Project Kinship, USC School of Social Work, Orange County Department of Education, The California Endowment, Charitable Ventures, and OCREP covering a variety of topics including:

Trauma Informed Care for Traumatized Youth
The Impact of Prop 47
Community Based Interventions and Street Outreach
The Challenges and Successes of Reentry (Panel)
Substance Abuse
Restorative Justice

Hosted at: USC Orange County Campus

Prop 47 Panel (featured January 2015)

Prop 47 panel discussion featuring Orange County Probation Department Division Director Keith Gotts; Orange County Sheriff's Department Assistant Sheriff Steve Kea and Law Offices of Brian Gurwitz, Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gurwitz. Discussed local and community ramifications, expectations and concerns regarding the passing of proposition 47.

Hosted at: Orange Education Center in Orange

The Wellness Center (featured November 2014)

John Reynolds is the Team Lead at the Wellness Center under the director of the program. He supervises 20 peer mentors, including 3 supervisors. He has worked with Providence Corp for over 8 years in different capacities. The Wellness Center is unique in the sense that it is peer run with most Peer Mentors recovering from a Mental Health issue. The Center is one of its kind in California. They have no clinical staff such as medical doctors or therapists. They run classes and workshops throughout the week and they are facilitated by the fifteen Peer Mentors who are staff. The requirements to become a member are only three: be 18 years or older, have a residence in Orange County, and have received mental health services currently or in the past: no paperwork is necessary, it is only self-identifying.

The Wellness Center is funded through Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act of 2004.

County of Orange Social Services Agency (Featured September 2014)
Wendy M. Aquin / Division Director, Adult Services and Assistance Programs

Wendy Aquin has been employed by the County of Orange Social Services Agency for over 25 years in a variety of management assignments. She is currently the Division Director for Adult Services and Assistance Programs with overall responsibility for programs such as Medi-Cal, Cal Fresh (formerly Food Stamps), General Relief, In-Home Supportive Services, and Adult Protective Services. In this capacity, she manages a staff of more than 1800 employees who provide services to hundreds of thousands of Orange County residents each year.

Wendy will update us on issues/opportunities for enrolling inmates who are in transition.

Recovery Education Institute (Featured July 2014)

Through the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Clinics-administered Recovery Education Institute (REI) located in the city of Orange works in collaboration with Saddleback and Santa Ana Colleges to help put persons with lived experience of mental illness (which can also include family members) on a path to gaining their Associate of Arts or other educational degree in the mental health or other fields. The program offers five components: (1) Workshop courses; (2) Prevocational courses; (3) College-credit courses; (4) Extended education courses; and (5) Student advisement.

Onesimus Mentoring (Featured May 2014)

Our purpose is to connect formally incarcerated men and women with volunteer mentors from the community, to assist them in becoming useful, productive members of society, therefore reducing crime and recidivism.

Onesimus means useful or profitable. Many times while incarcerated a person has a life changing experience, desiring to be different upon released only to be overwhelmed, and discouraged, not knowing that there is help available for them. Now, before theyre release an inmate can ask to be connected with the Onesimus Mentoring program, and have someone who can encourage them, as they rebuild their life.

We are assisting men and women being released from Orange County jails in making a successful re-entry into our community through a collaborative effort with many other agencies. The results will be, a safer community, the reunification of families, the released offender becoming a positive role model for their children, and citizens who pay taxes who are contributing, productive members of the community, with thousands of tax dollars saved when one person does not commit crimes going back to jail. OMI Onesimus Mentoring, Inc.

"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." 
John Holmes

Haven Staffing (Featured March 2014)

Haven Staffing was formed with a vision to create a pathway of opportunities. Our company culture is based on a passionate spirit of DOING GOOD THINGS for others.

Our mission is to develop strategic partnership with our clients to provide innovative professional search services that allows long - term relationships.

This relationships are built on:
Commitment and Mutual Trust
Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Outreach
At Haven Staffing, corporate social responsibility is an integral part of our purpose as a company and is reflected in our mission to bring great people and great organizations together that share our social responsibility goals. We recognize the importance of being a good corporate citizen and contributing to the overall social environment of the communities in which Haven Staffing operates.

The WorkPlaceCa (Featured March 2014)

Private Re-Entry Services for your family member on parole, probation, releasing from drug or alcohol treatment, prison, hospitalization - or just needing a job, retention service, treatment reinforcement, housing (by referral), sober coaching, therapeutic writing and long-term Mentoring.

Liaison with Judges, with Parole/Probation Officers, and with Medical Professionals.
Job Re-Entry Planning (image enhancement, resume preparation, On-the-Job Training). Customized Job Development/Job Retention services (job entry and maintenance is at the heart of all of our efforts). Housing, transportation, counseling, substance treatment and reinforcement, other services, brokered cost-effectively in your community. Fee based on just the services your family member needs. FREE initial consultation.

Orange County Rescue Mission (Featured January 2014)

OUR MISSION: To minister the love of Jesus Christ to the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our Community through the provision of assistance in the areas of guidance, counseling, education, job training, shelter, food, clothing, health care and independent living communities.

The Orange County Rescue Mission serves the least, the last, and the lost of Orange County. The programs are designed to give comprehensive services that move homeless men, women, and children to self-sufficiency. As of FY 2004, there are 34,998 homeless men, women and children in Orange County. 24,498 (70%) of these are homeless families and 10,500 (30%) of these are children.

The Orange County Jail Ministry (featured November 2013)

The Orange County Jail Ministry started as a small group of individuals in 1930. Today, there are more than 500 volunteers, 39 chaplains, and 63 church partners, as well as all those who support the ministry with prayers and donations. It is because of this support that we can provide more than 312 church services each month. We also offer correspondent Bible studies, one on one counseling, and Bibles to all the inmates who request them. The church services provide an opportunity for the inmates to come to the Lord and be blessed by the volunteers giving their testimonies as well as being ministered to with praise and worship music. This truly gives them an opportunity to make life changing decisions that will affect them when they are released and for the rest of their lives.

Lauras House (Featured January 2013)

Laura's House is a non-profit organization located in South Orange County with a mission to change social beliefs, attitudes, and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence, while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.
Laura's House provides unduplicated domestic violence-related services to the 915,000 residents of Orange County, California and beyond. Over the past eighteen years, Lauras House has provided shelter and support services to more than 3,488 battered women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to over 40,305 persons.
Today, Laura's House continues to be the only state-approved comprehensive domestic violence agency in South Orange County. Annually, Laura's House provides residential shelter services, counseling, and legal services to hundreds of women and children. In addition, thousands of crisis calls come in each year on their Crisis Hotline which operates 24 hours a day/7days a week. For additional information on Lauras House, please visit their website at

WHW (Featured September 2013)

In 1993, two survivors of domestic abuse began their journey to create a life for themselves and their children. As legal professionals, they faced the daunting task of rebuilding a professional wardrobe when all of their resources were needed for basic living expenses. Their own struggle gave them the idea and motivation to create an organization to help other women prepare for the work place after escaping a violent relationship. Thanks to their courage, WHW was born.

Today: In the first year of operation, 63 women were served. Since 1993, more than 40,000 men, women and teens have been given a helping hand in their efforts to overcome profound barriers in their quest to become economically self-sufficient. Today WHW (Women Helping Women/Men2Work) provides comprehensive employment support services for all disadvantaged men, women and teens, empowering them to achieve economic self sufficiency through employment success.