Frequently Asked Questions
Since the printing of our first edition in 2007, we have received thousands of letters from individuals incarcerated throughout the state. In response to those letters, we have summarized the most frequent questions.
How do I get more information on the Reentry Council of San Francisco and its meetings?
The Reentry Council of the City & County of San Francisco began in 2009 to coordinate local efforts to support adults exiting jails and prisons. The multi‐faceted council and community members meet quarterly to coordinate information sharing, planning, and engagement among stakeholders to address the unique needs of San Franciscans. The Reentry Council and its subcommittees identify funding, programs, needs and barriers that affect individuals returning to the San Francisco community post‐incarceration. Meetings are public and everyone who feels connected to the work of reentry is encouraged to attend. The Reentry Council is not a program; we provide information to individuals about resources and services in the San Francisco area. For more information on the Reentry Council visit www.sfgov.org/sfreentry/.
Are there other resource guides like San Francisco’s?
California is comprised of 58 different counties, all with unique resources. Some resource information can be found online and can be difficult to obtain in hard copy format. Please contact your local CDCR or Probation Office to learn more about specific resources in your area. The California Reentry Council Network also maintains a list of stakeholders from counties throughout the state that you can reach out to for local resource information. Visit www.calreentry.com/.
How can I go directly from jail/prison into a drug rehabilitation program?
If you are currently incarcerated and seeking to gain acceptance into a program upon release we recommend you write the program directly (you can find San Francisco resources in this digital guide). Your CDCR counselor, probation officer, or public defender may be able to help you with the process. If you are released to San Francisco, upon release, you can also drop into the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s, Treatment Access Program, Monday–Friday from 8am–4:30pm.
Address:1380 Howard Street, SF 94103 (@ 10th Street)
Is there any advice for lifers, who do not have a fixed release date, who are looking for a program?
Apply anyway; do not let your current circumstances discourage you. Acceptance into a reentry program can be a condition of your release. Continue reaching out to programs listed in this resource or other resource guides.
Can I apply for benefits, Food Stamps (CalFresh), CalWORKS, CAAP etc. while incarcerated?
While you are unable to apply for benefits while residing in an institution, the San Francisco Human Services Agency makes every effort to respond to applications received from community members within 72 hours. If you live in San Francisco and would like to enroll in public benefits, the CASC has an HSA Eligibility Worker who can assist you. Please see the Benefits page to find more information on San Francisco public benefit programs and how to apply.
How do I request a transfer of probation/post release community supervision to another county?
First, contact your probation officer. Typically, the municipality which has been assigned to supervise you will require you show proof you live in another county. Next contact your attorney or public defender and ask to be put back on calendar and file a 1203.9 request to the court. These requests always have to go through the courts. If approved, the current probation department contacts the receiving agency and verifies the address before proceeding. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
How do I request a transfer of parole supervision to another county?
A transfer of your parole supervision has to be initiated by your parole agent. In most circumstances, verifiable, permanent housing must be established for your transfer to be considered.
Once released and stable, how do I volunteer or give back to the community?
Many of the organizations in Getting Out and Staying Out guide seek volunteers on a regular basis. Follow up with organizations that hold a special connection to you. The Reentry Council welcomes the participation of individuals whose life experience reflects and enhances the purpose of the Council.