In January, Jason Whyte, Senior Director of Operations and Strategy, visited the Latino Coalition of Community Leadership (LCCL) to learn about the work they are doing to help returning citizens successfully transition back into their communities. Both national organizations are contracted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide employment-related trainings and supportive services to returning citizens, through the Employment and Training Association (ETA) department’s Reentry Employment Opportunity (REO).
After numerous meetings between Whyte and Richard Morales, Deputy Executive Director (LCCL), over the three-day visit, both organizations discovered that they function with very similar philosophies. Both organizations employ evidence-based and informed practices with a sober understanding that local adaptation is necessary; no one model is fully transferable to all communities. The organizations are also acutely aware that buy-in and commitment from leadership, a team of talented people, a culture of learning, and proper management of data and performance measurement, are foundational for successful reentry programming.
Morales introduced Whyte to associates and partners of LCCL, such as Christie Donner, Executive Director of Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC); Johanna Leal, Principal Consultant with the Alliance for Criminal Justice Innovation (ACJI); Leo Alirez, Executive Director of Lifeline; and Hassan Latif, Executive Director of the Second Chance Center. Together, these players are working to slash recidivism in Denver, Colorado.
OICA and LCCL will continue to discuss creative and innovative ways both national organizations can partner to tackle this national problem.
Photo Caption: From Left to Right: Richard Morales, Deputy Executive Director (LCCL); Christie Donner, Executive Director (CCJRC); Jason Whyte, Senior Director of Operations and Strategy (OICA)