In the face of the world pandemic and the widespread protests taking place across the country over police brutality and social injustices, Centerforce remains unwavering in its mission to serve individuals, families, and communities impacted by incarceration. Our staff remains intricately connected as our clientele struggle to cope with the traumatizing affects resulting from some of the most important issues of the world today. Centerforce will continue to deliver services and provide tools to assist our clients in building better lives for themselves and their families. Since so many of the clients we serve have been personally involved in the justice system, the current issues of violence hit closer to home for us, which is why Centerforce’s focus remains on providing meaningful programs and beneficial services to systems impacted individuals, families, and communities. Always has, always will...
Centerforce is a leading reentry service provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving people with a history of incarceration, their families, and communities. We provide evidence-based programs that exemplify reentry best practices, and have done so for over 40 years. Founded in 1977 to provide shelter to loved ones visiting prisoners at San Quentin, Centerforce now provides a broad range of services during incarceration, reentry, and after release.
We work with correctional entities, probation departments, other non-profits and research institutions to design, implement and evaluate programs that support communities impacted by incarceration. Centerforce is one of a handful of community-based service providers to offer a continuum of services pre and post-release, with expertise in working inside both jails and prisons.
Our programs include:
When one member of a community is incarcerated, the entire community suffers; we therefore strive to improve the lives of individuals impacted by incarceration, their families, and their communities.
To support, educate, and advocate for individuals, families and communities impacted by incarceration.
"When I was a resident of San Quentin State Prison, Centerforce provided me the opportunity to learn leadership skills through training to be a Peer Health Educator. I learned how to be considerate, respectful, understanding and supportive to others in teaching the causes, effects and symptoms of HIV, AIDS, STDs, and Hepatitis C."
"I have been working very hard to become closer to my daughter since I have been home, the Centerforce events we attended helped to strengthen that bond. We laughed, we played, and best of all we talked. I hope that Centerforce will continueto be able to afford these opportunities for other individuals and their families."
“I am grateful to Centerforce for working with me during my time in jail. To be honest, I didn’t know where to go for medical services in the community, and I always end up in the emergency room -- but now I can have my own primary care doctor so I do not end up in the emergency again. Thank you for reaching out to me.”
We receive valuable financial support from the Alameda County and Contra Costa Probation Departments, as well as the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Department.
We have a long history of partnering with industry to support improved health outcomes for individuals with incarceration histories. Our former collaborators include HIV and HCV pharmaceutical partnerships.
Centerforce has been a leader in community collaborative research projects to develop evidence-based models of interventions to support improved health outcomes and successful reentry post incarceration.
We also accept individual contributions to support our dynamic programming and to allow us to respond to opportunities to provide responsive services that may not be funded by existing contracts and grants.
Karen Deshayes served as Interim Executive Director at Centerforce through its reorganization and
delivery of program services under COVID 19. She has served in interim executive roles with various Bay Area agencies including ETM Bay Area, Child, Family & Community Services, Legal Aid of Marin, Lindsay Wildlife Experience and Community Housing Partnership. Karen Deshayes began her career in banking and finance and is a former Vice President of Union Bank and Bank of America. She brings to Centerforce a focus on finance and operations, development, and human resources.
Dolores Lyles brings over 35 years in the human services field to Centerforce providing direct client services and program design, implementation and oversight. She previously served as Transitional Services Program Manager, Children & Family Services Regional Program Manager, and most recently Executive Director until retirement earlier this year. Her knowledge of constituents and the restorative justice community is invaluable in moving the agency forward.
Abayomi Brame has over 10 years of experience in parenting education and over 25 years’ experience in HIV and health education social services. He has been with Centerforce since 2009, has served as program facilitator working in San Quentin State Prison and the Santa Rita Jails and is now the Fatherhood Program Coordinator.
Lorenzo Parham has 7 years’ experience in the social service field, including work in group homes throughout Alameda County and as a case manager of Transition Age Youth in homeless shelters. He has been with Centerforce since early 2016, and serves as a Fatherhood Coach and Youth Court Case Manager.
Darnell Hill has been with Centerforce since 2012, beginning as a Prisoner Peer Health Educator at San Quentin State Prison. Darnell was active in S.Q.U.I.R.E.S (San Quentin Inmate Resources Experience Studies) -- featured on A&E’s "Beyond Scared Straight" and on the Dr. Phil show -- worked as a re-entry facilitator, and was Chairman of San Quentin T.R.U.S.T Health Fair. Darnell is now a Fatherhood Coach and Case Manager.
Cynthia Zabala has over 17 years of experience in the field of Addiction and Case Management and holds a State Certification in Substance Abuse. She is passionate about helping individuals recover from addiction, and from the impacts of incarceration. She been with Centerforce since 2014 and is now a Fatherhood Coach.
Felicia Duncan. a licensed real estate broker, has over 15 years of experience working with Bay Area Housing Programs with an emphasis in affordable housing. She has been with Centerforce since 2020, serving as the Housing Program Coordinator working to provide housing resources for Centerforce clients.