Since 1997, Community Works West (CWW) has strived to interrupt and heal the far-reaching impacts of incarceration and violence through youth-led advocacy, innovative programs in jails and prisons, restorative justice practices, and art. CWW provided the first restorative justice program in a county jail (San Francisco) and the first restorative justice diversion program for youth offenders in Alameda County. CWW also has been a leader in efforts to realize the rights of children with incarcerated parents and minimize the impact of incarceration on children and families. Focused on the Bay Area, CWW recently expanded to two California state prisons.

CWW currently operates the following core programs:

  • Project WHAT! supports youth who have experienced parental incarceration to educate others about the impact of parental incarceration and advocate for the rights of affected youth.
  • ROOTS provides school-based programs for San Francisco children and youth with incarcerated parents.
  • Restorative Community Conferencing is a juvenile justice diversion program that facilitates restorative conferencing for victims, youth offenders, and their communities in Alameda and San Francisco counties.
  • One Family provides parent education, contact visiting and other services to help children maintain relationships with their parents incarcerated in San Francisco County jails and two state prisons.
  • Resolve to Stop the Violence is a restorative justice program for youth and adults in custody and post-release.
  • Women Rising/Rising Voices provides case management and an expressive arts internship for formerly incarcerated young women.
  • Young Men’s Reentry Program provides 18-25 year-old men, formerly incarcerated in San Francisco jail, with a range of services to promote the self-sufficiency needed for their transition into adulthood.
  • Social Justice Arts Programming includes theater, oral history, exhibits, publications and installations as a platform for personal expression and healing, alliance-building, and public engagement.

Additionally, CWW’s staff actively participates in the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, the Alameda County Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, and various other collaborative entities.

CWW’s strong connections with various public agencies, as well as its unique and effective programming, has led to sharp growth in demand and funding, more than doubling its size over the past few years. However, most of the funding it receives is for direct services, increasingly straining its administrative infrastructure.

Recognizing CWW’s leadership in the field, contribution to the community, and alignment with the foundation’s values, ZFF awarded a legacy grant to help support a new development director as a first step toward strengthening CWW’s administrative capacity to keep pace with its expanding programs.