Restoring Our Communities (ROC) is an academic support program at Laney College, by and for formerly incarcerated students. ROC is about supporting and equipping formerly incarcerated* (FI) and justice systems impacted** (JSI) students with the tools to be successful at Laney College and beyond.
We are a program, along the prison-to-school pipeline, that is dedicated to eliminating the stigma of being formerly incarcerated and reversing the effects of mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. Our goal is to support students from reentry to graduation and transfer.
We provide a safe space in a therapeutic learning community where FI and JSI students can feel a sense of validation and belonging. We do not have tutors or a dedicated counselor for our program, but our space provides opportunities for peer mentoring and peer advising. Peer mentoring is student to student guidance on things like what classes to take, who is a good professor, how to be a good student etc. Peer advising is ambassador and staff support on how to apply for transfer, how to use assist.org, what it is like being at a university etc. Both peer mentoring and peer advising provide social capital for FI and JSI students who usually are also first generation students as well.
We also provide material support by offering AC Transit bus tickets (for students who do not qualify for an AC Transit EasyPass), BART tickets, and Food Vouchers.+
If you are formerly incarcerated and thinking about returning to school, please visit us in the E building, Room 203, so that we can assist you with enrolling and acclimating to the Laney College campus. If you are already a student, we provide a stigma free space where you can study, learn and grow with other like minded students.
*Former incarceration can include city and/or county jail, state and/or federal prison, military or immigrant detention.
**Justice systems impacted refers to students who have a “significant family member” (mother, father, or other adult caretaker, son, daughter or child you are caretaking, husband, wife, or partner) who is (or has been) in jail, state or federal prison, military or immigrant detention.
+Academic and material support is based on the amount of resources the program has for the semester. Support is conditional and dependent on the student remaining in good standing with the program.