Mayor Michelle Wu announced David Mayo as Director for the Office of Returning Citizens (ORC). The mission of the Office of Returning Citizens is to help returning citizens recover from the trauma of incarceration, reclaim their dignity and purpose, and rebuild their lives through positive choices, incentives, and opportunities. The ORC aims to empower its clients to break the cycle of recidivism through hands-on case management and an extensive provider referral network. Mayo brings decades of experience in rehabilitative services and a deep-rooted passion for at-risk youth and adult populations. The ORC is housed within the Mayor’s Office of Human Services, led by Chief José F. Massó.
“The Office of Returning Citizens plays a critical part in empowering our returning community members to rebuild their lives,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “David has shown an extensive commitment to advocating for residents and their families through his work with reintegration, workforce development and reentry, and we are excited to welcome him to this new role.”
“It is with extreme pleasure and a sense of urgency that I accept this post understanding the responsibility and necessity of serving our Returning Citizens. It is my mission to engage, equip and empower every returning citizen with the tools to create a stable and independent life for themselves while overcoming barriers and destroying recidivism,” said David Mayo. “It is my goal to create the strongest returning citizens program in the country.”
As Director, Mayo will lead the department’s efforts to expand resources and services for returning citizens and assist the City of Boston in addressing the inequitable harms of incarceration. Mayo will have the primary responsibility of driving the ORC’s vision and managing the day-to-day operations of an office charged with engaging, serving, and advocating for individuals returning to Boston from incarceration and impacted by CORI.
The ORC helps over 3,000 people who return to Boston each year from federal, state, and county prisons and jails take healthy steps in their lives through a variety of services. These services include in-person case management with program and intake coordinators, peer mentorships, and warm referrals to key programs and services, including transitional housing, employment, healthcare, education, and legal services. Between the Office’s inception in 2017 and today, the number of yearly clients served by the Office has increased by more than 700%.
For Fiscal Year 2023, the Office of Returning Citizens has a $2.67 million operating budget. This investment will enable the ORC to hire five additional staff members and build more robust support in the areas of housing, workforce development, and case management for returning citizens.
“I am very excited to welcome David to the Human Services team,” said Chief of Human Services, José F. Massó. “His deep experience and commitment to successful reentry and building partnerships with community-based organizations will be critical to the success of a reinvigorated Office of Returning Citizens.”
Prior to this appointment, Mayo served as the Director of Reintegration with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, where he oversaw the Family Matters Program, Workforce Development, and Discharge to Reentry Services. Mayo also formerly served as the Coordinator of the Nurturing Fathers’ program at the Suffolk County House of Correction. He managed program services for inmates and the mothers of their children through the Family Matters Program.
Mayo is a native of Charleston, South Carolina and is a proud United States Coast Guard veteran. Having mentored over 200 at-risk youth, Mayo affectionately calls them his children. He has been a father to many.