Every day thousands of people are released from prison with nowhere to go and no one to help them navigate their new life. Our team meets released inmates at the prison gates, guides them through their first hours and days of freedom, and transports them to a pre-approved rehabilitation residence.

The Ride Home Program began as a partnership between the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition to provide immediate, intensive, and personalized reentry support to inmates released under reforms to California’s sentencing laws. In 2015, the Program partnered with the White House to expand its services to federal prisoners who received executive clemency from President Obama. In 2016, the Ride Home program was honored as a "Champion of Change" by the Obama White House.


We focus on in-person, intensive, immediate, and practical reentry services—beginning at the prison gates—because the first hours of a released prisoner's life are the most critical. Newly released prisoners have the highest rate of recidivism. In the first week of release, the mortality rate of released prisoners is more than twelve times that of others of the same age, sex, and race. Drug overdose is the most common cause of death, followed closely by suicide and homicide, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Our experienced reentry counselors and drivers are formerly incarcerated themselves, so they offer newly released prisoners an opportunity to spend time with a peer who's been through a similar experience and a practical and realistic plan for reentry. Our service includes free, safe, and friendly transportation to an approved residential assistance center that will address the individual's specific needs (including healthcare and psychiatric services, if necessary). We keep in touch with released prisoners for follow-up counseling and support. Our mission is to counsel returning citizens on how to approach and overcome obstacles ahead, share a first meal, buy fresh clothing and toiletries together, bring them to a safe home, and introduce them to a changed world.


Ride Home saved my life. After 30 years in prison, I had nothing. I hadn’t seen a restaurant or cars drive by me or how to take care of myself. I can’t thank Ride Home enough for welcoming me with open hands and heart and getting me on the right track.
— Stanley Bailey, released after serving 32 years in prison for a nonviolent drug crime.
The President’s vision [for executive clemency] could not have been realized without this support.
— White House statement, commending the Ride Home Program, January 19, 2017.
One thing I learned, riding along with Carlos and Roby last year, was that the fundamental, stable sense of self that most of us take for granted doesn’t switch back all at once when a person walks out of prison after so many years. It takes some coaxing to remember what being free even feels like.
— Jon Mooallem, New York Times Magazine, June 16, 2016.

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