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[Press] Opinion: Second chance is vital part of criminal rehabilitation process

This article published on September 10, 2017 is written by our executive director, Donald Frazier, and discusses the restrictions and barriers placed on people with felony convictions as they try to achieve stability after being incarcerated. Donald explains these issues and how BOSS works to tackle them through a main goal of housing and self-sufficiency.


In California, where skyrocketing costs of housing have pushed millions of people into poverty or the brink of economic insecurity, the challenges for those with criminal records are often that much more difficult to overcome.

There are nearly 5,000 different restrictions placed on people with felony convictions, creating barriers for families, and making it difficult if not impossible for people to secure jobs, housing, student loans and other keys to achieving economic security and facility stability.

At BOSS, our mission is to help the homeless, poor and disabled obtain self sufficiency, while fighting the root causes of poverty and homelessness. Our organization works to pair social services with a social justice philosophy in hopes of achieving social progress.

Over the last several years, these challenges have become more profound and more important as our state changes its approach to criminal justice. California voters have embarked upon a new path, choosing second chances and rehabilitation over mass incarceration, raising the stakes for community organizations to help those emerging from incarceration find their place in society.

But if we are going to make this work, and serve as a model for the rest of the nation to follow, we must dedicate the resources to addressing the problems people face when transitioning from incarceration back into our communities, and change the way that landlords and employers treat those who have made mistakes in their past.

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