Returning Citizen’s Resources

This resource page is dedicated to those persons returning to the greater Cleveland, OH area from prison or jail. My mission is to share the knowledge and resources I have been given. I hope it helps.

Below are links with resources:

General Resources:

Legal Assistance: 

This link provides information on various organizations within the Greater Cleveland area that provide legal advice and/or legal services. 

Legal Aid focuses on consumer, family, housing, education, work, public benefits, and immigration. Does NOT handle criminal cases or traffic violations. 

Employment Resources for Persons with Felonies:

Entrepreneur Related Resources:

  • Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI)-For 15 years ECDI has been providing small business loans, ranging from $500-$350,000, to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. ECDI has assisted over 13,000 individuals through our comprehensive suite of entrepreneurial programs and services. The organization supports loans for new and established businesses. Many of their other services can help develop a new business into a loan-ready client. ECDI provides the tools, technical assistance and support for businesses to succeed.
  • Urban League of Greater Cleveland– The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland provides business counseling and assistance to individuals who are either starting or growing their business.  The SBDC is staffed with highly-trained, Certified Business Advisors to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with development and growth to increase sales and create jobs in their local communities.
  • Cleveland State University Small Business Development Center- The Small Business Development Center is one of 41 SBDCs throughout Ohio. Our SBDC is housed in the Cleveland Heights Public Library and provides no-cost, confidential, in-depth, one-on-one counseling for small businesses with under 500 employees. Additional services include training, e-counseling, quality-based assessments, technical assistance, loan packaging guidance and information on federal, state and local regulations and programs.

Resources to Know about Prior to Leaving Prison: 

Other Resources:

This includes meetings with providers who give information/resources on how to reintegrate back into society within these domain areas: employment, education, family/marital, associates/social interactions,  substance abuse, community functioning, personal/emotional orientation, and attitude.

Executive Clemency is an act of mercy or leniency from certain consequences of a criminal conviction, and is exercised by the Governor after receipt of a recommendation from the Parole Board. Clemency can be in the form of a pardon, commutation, or reprieve.

The American Bar Association defines “collateral sanctions” as: “a legal penalty, disability or disadvantage, however denominated, that is imposed on a person automatically upon that person’s conviction for a felony, misdemeanor or other offense, even if it is not included in the sentence.” A database for Ohio’s collateral sanctions. It is important to know any limitations/restrictions attached to any convictions you may have.