Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is about being locked up. This week we’ll meet formerly incarcerated people who share their experiences behind bars and also learn about the ways they’re getting their lives back on track after their release. We’ll also look at a different kind of lock up…

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Sandra Johnson, an Oakland resident, needs a job to sustain herself, but faces obstacles with a conviction on her record.

Sandra Johnson needs a job, desperately. The formerly incarcerated 59-year-old Oakland woman is now a City College of San Francisco student, but needs to find work as well.

In June, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of establishing a new re-entry hiring program that aims to create 1,400 county job opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

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Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency has partnered with service organizations to create job opportunities for out-of-work youth while mitigating blight in the city’s commercial corridors. The city’s partnership with Men of Valor, a non-profit re-entry program in East Oakland that provides housing, job training and other services to high school drop-outs, recovering addicts and the formerly incarcerated, has proven so successful since it began in June—removing about 114 graffiti markings from 88 businesses along Foothill and International boulevards—that in October CEDA decided to expand the program and take on new partners.

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