Ken Oliver

Ken Oliver

Executive Director


Los Angeles, CA USA

Don’t let your circumstance define you. Define your circumstance.


By Roadtrip Nation

Ken Oliver


My road in life has taken me all over.
I was sentenced to 52 years to life in prison after being pulled over as a passenger in a stolen vehicle because it was a third strike.
I ultimately spent 24 years in prison—almost nine of those years in solitary confinement—and kept my sanity through that time by reading and educating myself.
After I was released from prison, I got a job as a paralegal at a public interest law firm in the Bay Area of California.
Shortly after being introduced to that work, I became a policy director for the organization through which I worked on causes like voting rights, child support reform, and sentencing reform.
While the criminal justice reform work that’s being done is great, I realized we needed more people supporting the infrastructure needed for people to rebuild their lives after incarceration.
I joined CROP and helped the organization create workforce opportunities and economic mobility for formerly incarcerated people.
I was eventually recruited by Checkr to lead their corporate foundation and be the face of what fair chance hiring should look like.
Keep following my journey


High School
Legal Assistant/Paralegal
Merritt College
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workforce
USF Corporate Training and Professional Education


Executive Director

I work to build pathways for formerly incarcerated people to rebuild their lives and contribute to the community.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

I recommend either going to college for a four-year degree or getting involved in entrepreneurship.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why should we care about helping formerly incarcerated people?"

Challenges I Overcame

Formerly Incarcerated

Interviewed By

Being Free

Being Free

Formerly incarcerated people find purpose