Jeff ‘Rafi’ Boyd

Jeff ‘Rafi’ Boyd

Jeff Boyd works for Project H.O.O.D., helping former convicts reenter society. It’s a job he got after going through the process himself.

“There’s a direct correlation between being impoverished – income inequity, a lack of job placement, educational skills – and crime and ultimately recidivism.”

“In 1991, I was affiliated with one of the major street organizations. And we were indicted on narcotics and racketeering. We were ultimately convicted and I spent over 20 years in federal incarceration.”

“I came to the realization while I was incarcerated that I had to make some serious, life-changing decisions. I had obviously made a bad career choice. I made a conscious effort and decision to turn my life around.”

“I took several training opportunities while I was in the jail. Teaching, drug counseling, employment counseling. And while I was still incarcerated, I was selected by two institutions to write the reentry curriculum they still use today.”

“Statistically, within a year 17% of convicts return to incarceration. Within three years, it’s 47%. But if they have some form of vocational education, or job training or job placement, obviously those numbers go down.”

“In the early- or mid-2000s, Project H.O.O.D. became a buzz word. I began to hear about the work they were doing in Woodlawn, my community prior to incarceration. So, when I was released, I volunteered, for maybe 18 months. Then I became a case manager and was ultimately assigned their department of reentry affairs, which is now called the Rebirth Project.”

“We’re building a community center which will have all the services and resources baked into it. The training, the services and everything. The goal is to help our returning citizens bridge the income gap and set things on the right footing in our communities.”

“We want to better the quality of life for our communities.”

Jeff “Rafi” Boyd
Reentry program coordinator, Project H.O.O.D.
Chicago, Illinois

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