Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: Kevin Grant, Oakland Street Outreach Coordinator | KALW

Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: Kevin Grant, Oakland Street Outreach Coordinator

May 25, 2010

In Episode #13, Kevin Grant, Oakland Street Outreach Coordinator, discusses how he maintains credibility with both young people and law enforcement, how he turned his life around after fifteen years behind bars, how he fosters relationships with employers to help people with prior convictions find jobs, and more.

Grant Interview Highlights

Grant on Taking Responsibility Rather Than Always Blaming the Police

“I started finally coming to understand, to finally start looking in the mirror and say, ‘Wait, the person who caused all the problems in my life was me and the things I liked to do’… I stopped making enemies out of the police department … We don’t service ourselves on the streets by acting like it’s all the police’s fault. We have to take ownership to what am I doing to be the police’s job all the time.”

Grant on Fostering Understanding Between Youth and Police

“We want the officers to understand the youth more, but we want the youth to understand the officers more.”

Grant on Providing Employment Opportunities for People with Prior Convictions

“The advocacy that we found that’s important is for somebody to go forward, positioned and tempered, to develop personal relationships with employers … If we, as a society, can say that everything that is receiving funding from our community needs to embrace back our community. These are people in our community … You have to realize the loved ones are coming back home. We need to embrace them when they get back home and give them opportunity.”


The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast with David Onek features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders: law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates, service providers, academics and others.

The Podcast gets behind the sound bites that far too often dominate the public dialogue about criminal justice, to have detailed, nuanced conversations about criminal justice policy.

Podcast host David Onek is a Senior Fellow at Berkeley Law School and a former Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission.

You can find more information on the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast and listen to all past episodes on the Podcast web site.

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