Inside the Largest Gang Rehab in the World – Homeboy Industries • BRAVE NEW FILMS

We’re 30 years in existence here at Homeboy Industries. We had the largest concentration of gang activity anywhere in the world. There are 120,000 gang members in LA County, 1,100 gangs, and now we’re the largest gang intervention rehab re-entry program on the planet so
15,000 folks a year walk through our doors. We always represented an exit
ramp off this violent freeway. So it’s an illusion that, you know, by
locking up more people, that it brings you safety and whatever benefit there is
in that, dwarfs in comparison. It has this foreverness about a cycle of damage to kids, and to relationships, and to marriages and to communities. -I’ve been to every single prison in California. I’ve been from Pelican Bay State Prison, Cocoran. I’ve been to all the higher levels, and then I worked my way down to the lower levels, and it’s nothing there that helps to rehabilitate. -What if we were to invest in people, rather than just try to futilely, mindlessly incarcerate our way out of this problem? It’s an invitation to infuse hope to kids for whom hope is foreign, and help heal the damage. -Tattoo removal. -Tattoo removal. -Tattoo removal is a change of life. The first tattoo I removed was my gang
tattoo, and it had been there for so long, but I was ready to do it, and after I
done, it it felt good. At first it was kind of, like,
“Oh my god. I’m taking this off.” But then I was like,
“Yeah, it’s cause it’s no longer who I am.” -I went through all these classes. -Substance abuse classes, the anger management, there was a leadership class. -Legal services, GED. -Job resource. -Pathway to college. -Domestic violence, NA, AA. -Computer lab. -I started taking parenting classes. At first, I started taking them because they have free food. And all those tutors there, they don’t give up on you. They want to drill you every morning before you have your coffee. It was, it was real hard. -It’s helped me become the father that I always wanted. -The secret sauce, here is, is the place, is
the community, is the environment, is extravagant tenderness that people encounter. -I never thought about a 401K, and he showed me the whole breakdown of a 401K, and how you can start saving, and everything for the future. And now that you’re saying that, yeah, I would like something like that. No wonder these white people keep this shit straight, huh? Because they got a 401K! Now, I’m a homeowner, and only three years out, after doing 18 years in prison. -You could go hiking? I thought that was for white people. -They get trained in the job while there. So for instance, you will look down, you see people in the bakery, or you’ll go to a Homeboy recycling, or catering, or cafe, and so they’ll get training from those folks who are working in those fields. I got certified to drive a forklift. -My goal is to be an electrician, and they
offer a service for that. A class that helps you with the math part of the test.

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