Welcoming Back Our Neighbors

Welcoming Back Our Neighbors

Today on the show, Julien speaks with Richard Mireles, the Director of Communications at the Oakland-based non-profit CROP Organization.

CROP stands for Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs and their mission is to reimagine reentry (for justice-involved folks) through a holistic, human-centered approach to advocacy, housing, and skill development for the future of work. Richard’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, transformation, and dedication. After spending nearly two decades incarcerated, Richard was granted parole in 2019 and has since become a leading voice in the movement for criminal justice reform.

Welcoming Back Our Neighbors

As the Director of Communications at CROP Organization and host of The Prison Post Podcast, Richard has dedicated his life to helping returning citizens transform their lives and stay free. He leads CROP’s transformational workshops for nonprofits, community college faculty and students, and provides leadership development to incarcerated individuals through the Quest program at Solano State prison. Richard’s journey is a true inspiration to all those who seek to overcome adversity and make a positive impact in the world. His unwavering commitment to personal growth, education, and social change is a testament to the transformative power of the human spirit.

Today we discuss:

  • The redemptive power of empathy and its importance in restorative justice initiatives and reforms of the criminal justice system.
  • Richard’s personal story and perspectives on what it takes to be transformed in prison and come out whole.
  • That rehabilitation, a critical feature of a healthy justice system, is largely overlooked in the United States — it’s really about profit and punishment.
  • That if truly wanted a crime free society, we’d start by focusing on a 0% recidivism rate and stop dehumanizing justice-involved folks.

Additional Resources:
Last Prisoner Project
Uncuffed Podcast
Prison Policy Initiative – Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie
The Purpose of Prison

Our host, Julien Geiser, is the Director of Corporate Support at Greatheart Consulting. Greatheart develops inclusive leaders for courageous cultures by focusing on practical behaviors that can help build relationships of trust and accountability across all aspects of identity. To learn more about their work, visit www.greatheartconsulting.com.

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