Terah Lawyer

Terah Lawyer

President, Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs

Terah joined CROP in January 2022. She is the former Associate Director of Impact Justice’s groundbreaking reentry program - The Homecoming Project -  a $3.5M housing innovation that matches eligible returning citizens with rooms for rent with compatible hosts. Over three years, she developed and led the program which has received national and state awards and provided nearly 70 formerly incarcerated individuals with sustainable housing in the Bay Area.

Terah brings deep program development experience, reentry housing expertise and a passion for investing in people. Her lived experiences as a formerly incarcerated woman who spent 15 years in prison informs her work and approach to rehabilitation and reentry. She has received multiple fellowships and scholarships, and over the last ten years has launched programs and organizations that invest in the leadership development of justice-involved professionals in all trades and careers.

While incarcerated, Terah became a certified peer health educator, a drug and alcohol counselor and earned two associate degrees. She developed the Offender Responsibility program, which is still offered at Central California Women’s Facility.  Terah also developed the program curriculum to launch a nonprofit, CORE (Criminal Offender Reform Establishment), which provides rehabilitative correspondent courses nationwide to people incarcerated in prison. The organization has served 2500 students since 2012. From 2012-2013, she was the elected chairperson of the Beyond Incarceration Panel and led an organization of 20 members to gain certifications as Congressionally Recognized Youth Diversion Specialists.

After returning home in 2017, Terah has dedicated her life to her community. She is the  spokeswoman for the Drop the Life Without the Possibility of Parole campaign and has been featured in A New Way of Life testimonial series. Her work has been profiled in major media outlets such as NPR, CNN Great Big Story, The New York Times, The Atlantic and Mother Jones. Terah is a Young Professional of Color Fellow with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and was a 2019 Next Generations Fellow with the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

Terah is a San Francisco State University graduate and holds three undergraduate degrees in business administration, management, and social and behavioral sciences.

Reentry Conference Event Page

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Hall A | St. Mary's Cathedral - Event Center

Employment Best Practices for People Reentering Society After Incarceration

John Cunningham
Rubicon Programs Inc., Richmond Site Manager


Terah Lawyer
President, Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs
Donna Hilliard
Executive Director, Code Tenderloin
Mr. Chuck Etchison
Jericho Project, Founder
Liz Jackson-Simpson
Executive Director, Success Centers  


The difficulties faced by formerly incarcerated individuals upon re-entry into society highlight a critical issue in the United States criminal justice system. One significant challenge is the limited employment opportunities, often due to stigma and employer biases against hiring individuals with criminal records. These barriers not only affect the individuals themselves but also have ripple effects on their families and communities. The inability to secure stable housing, gainful employment, and access to education perpetuates cycles of poverty and social marginalization. This panel will specifically address employment barriers and propose successful reentry strategies for formerly incarcerated individuals.