CROP Organization II

Oakland, CA
Fall-Winter 2021
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Business Plans,
Market Analysis
Organization Type
Human Services


Founded in 2008 by then-incarcerated prisoner Ted Gray, CROP is a reentry service provider that focuses on providing returning citizens professional and personal leadership development, tech-centered reskilling, career placement, long term housing, and lifetime community support. CROP’s model commits to investment in people who have been justice-involved and fosters a culture of giving back by providing scholarships to at-risk youth to disrupt the school to prison pipeline.


How can CROP build a sustainable business model for its Exercises in Empathy program?


Housing and livable wage employment are critical to stopping the cycle of recidivism and increasing public safety.  CROP created a residential program called Ready for Life where formerly incarcerated participants spend 12 months immersed in professional and personal leadership development, tech-centered reskilling, career placement, transition into permanent housing, and community service through its youth scholarship fund.  The State of California has just granted CROP $27M for a 3-year pilot of Ready for Life; CROP will purchase or lease a campus location in 2021-2022 and commence a 15-person pilot.

Additionally, CROP has recently hired two leaders of Exercises in Empathy (EinE), a very successful program initiated by them at the Palma school in Salinas. The program immerses high school students with men incarcerated at the Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad to forge deep personal relationships through discussions about transformative justice for both communities.  Jason Bryant, one of CROP’s leaders, was a participant before being released from this prison.  See Lisa Ling’s CNN documentary Prison & Prep School (requires password: LisaLing).

Project Overview

ACT just completed its first project for CROP.  Volunteers Manisha Agrawal, MBA ‘97 and Robin Reynolds, MBA ‘01 (both now on CROP’s Advisory Board) advised CROP’s leadership across many issues in addition to building a presentation deck telling its story and preparing financial plans and budgets.  CROP is now requesting ACT’s help to analyze the revenue opportunities for its Exercises in Empathy program and to develop a business model that will not only sustain growth for the program but contribute to the funding for CROP’s overall mission of transforming the criminal justice system.


This is a Fast Track project:

  • Scope: Focused, specific organizational issue
  • Team Size: 3-4 consultants
  • Project Duration: 3 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 25-30 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role.