The Pomona Day Reporting Center in Pomona, California recently hosted an in-person transition celebration honoring nearly 40 parolees who successfully completed the DRC’s intensive evidence-based reentry program designed to prepare them to return to their communities as productive citizens.
GEO Reentry Services runs the Pomona DRC, a non-residential reentry center, on behalf of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Parole Operations. Daily operations are supervised by DRC Program Manager Matthew Hill and center staff.
Guests at the May 20 event included community leaders, parole officers and community partners, along with graduates and their families. During the event, attendees watched as participants receive their certificates of completion, and several speakers made remarks.
Due to COVID regulations, the event was held outside in two parts — morning and afternoon — and all present followed local health and safety guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing. A photo station, to-go lunches, gift bags and a snow cone truck were all part of the graduates’ experience as well.
Most participants graduating that day had completed a modified version of the program in 2020 and 2021 consisting of months of online and in-person classes at the DRC, including cognitive behavioral therapy, substance abuse treatment, life skills training, job readiness classes and ongoing testing for drug and alcohol use.
At the Pomona DRC and GEO Reentry reporting centers throughout California, conducting graduation ceremonies, including virtual events via video conference, has remained important throughout the pandemic. For participants, being recognized for their accomplishments continues to serve as a powerful motivator for success once they leave the program.
DAPO opened the Pomona DRC, located at 1295 East Holt Avenue in Pomona, in 2013 to help ease prison overcrowding and reduce recidivism rates among adult parolees. Many of these graduates were referred by DAPO after violating conditions of parole, and many are “one strike” away from life in prison.