In August 2017, ARC launched the Hope & Redemption Team (“HART Team”). The HART team grew from Sam Lewis’ vision of providing incarcerated people with board and reentry programming by having formerly incarcerated people teach it!
The HART team solely comprises formerly incarcerated people, including lifers returning to California prisons to teach rehabilitative programming. With their life experiences, knowledge, and passion for giving back, the HART team can uniquely reach incarcerated people across California. The HART team began in eight California prisons and has expanded to 33 prisons, including women’s facilities CIW, CCWF, and Sacramento CCTRP. One life coach is assigned to every prison.
The goal of the HART team is to prepare people for the board of parole to come home from incarceration. Many HART team members return to the very prisons they once were held at to reach, inspire, and connect with the men and women inside prison. Our life coaches are dedicated to bringing people home from incarceration to the community with the proper guidance and support.
The HART program consists of 10-week workshops inside prisons focusing on preparing for parole board reentry planning, culminating in a graduation. In 2023, 2,000 incacerted people graduated from HART programs, and we held over 90 graduations.
Because of the program’s success, more people have safely come home from incarceration. Once someone is released, they are connected with ARC and assigned a Life Coach. Their life coach connects them to an array of reentry services. We make sure our HART team graduates continue on their journey when they come home.