Story by Parole Agent III Douglas Broome
Photos by Parole Agent II Jennifer Barnes, Parole Agent I Markeisha Brignac and Parole Agent I Deidre Greene

The Los Angeles Central Parole District (LACPD), which runs a major program for former female inmates, attended the Getty House Women’s Leadership Series with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the South Bay Workforce Investment Board’s 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony last month.

LA Central Parole District Agents, from left, Denise Alvarez, Markeisha Brignac, Delores Lett, Deidre Greene, Jennifer Barnes and Ryan Wiltsey.

Also on the same night, a successful parolee was honored for his achievements.

Becaue of its partnership and collaborative efforts with the Los Angeles Mayors’ Office of Reentry, agents from LACPD were invited to attend the Mayor’s Examining Challenges Facing Women and Reentry panel.

The panel highlighted the challenges women face to secure housing, find employment, and reunify with their children after returning home from incarceration.  Mayor Garcetti discussed initiatives to create employment opportunities, facilitate financial empowerment, and navigate legal obstacles for women who are looking to rebuild their lives upon reentry.

Attending were judges and other law enforcement agencies discussing strategies that would impact the lives of women.

Mayor Garcetti said 90% of all incarcerated women have been victims of sexual assault or have been a victim of a crime prior to incarceration and 80% have substance abuse issues.

A selfie with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

He also said there are limited resources for women.  Through his Ban-the-Box initiative, which prohibits employers from inquiring about criminal history until a conditional job offer has been made, he is working with more than 200 businesses that have committed to hiring the formerly incarcerated.

LACPD continues to champion causes for the formerly incarcerated women.

Gender Responsive Agents facilitate monthly female offender meetings at the parole complex and quarterly meetings at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Each meeting is a collaborative effort with community stakeholders to provide referrals and essential services that are unique to women.

Later the same evening, agents celebrated the achievements of the South Bay Work Investment Board/America’s Job Center of California. The consortium is made up of 11 cities El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, Lawndale, Inglewood, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Carson, Lomita, and Torrance.

In attendance were Mayor Patrick Furey, City of Torrance, Mayor Alex Vargas, City of Hawthorne, Mayor James Butts, Mayor of Inglewood, and Kevin Demoff, Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Football Operations with Los Angeles Rams professional football team.

This event was exceptionally special because parolee Luis Ortega, one of the night’s honorees and recent graduate of the April 2017 LACPD and AJCC Career Pathways 180 re-entry job preparation workshop and fair, was honored.

He was recognized for his post program achievements. Additionally, Demoff, the Rams official, gave Ortega Rams tickets.

LACPD continues to seek out collaborative opportunities and partnerships with cities, elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and community stakeholders that provide services and opportunities to the formerly incarcerated to assist them with becoming successful on and beyond parole.