The UNITE-LA Smart Justice work is grounded in programs, policies and collaborative systems change efforts that dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, support in-custody education and job-readiness services, and connect the reentry population to education and employment opportunities. One of our main goals is to increase access to living-wage employment opportunities for L.A.'s justice-involved youth and young adults. In collaboration with community-based partners providing wraparound services, we have and continue to provide work-readiness, career exploration, paid employment/internships and college access programming to our region’s opportunity youth (virtually and in-person).
UNITE-LA has also built strong relationships with local and like-minded employers who champion diverse, yet qualified job candidates, decreased recruitment costs and increased retention rates. A great example of our work was highlighted in California Forward’s Voices of Shared Prosperity series, which "amplifies the stories of Californians who are committing their time and talent to solutions that embrace equity, the environment and the economy." UNITE-LA wanted to share Gloria Cabrera's story. Cabrera, who went through our CORE program, is an amazing example of smart justice in action. Please, take a moment to read, "Story of a life inside 'the system' averted by an opportunity and education in law."