Syrita Steib has an unrelenting passion to help formerly incarcerated women succeed. She is the executive director of Operation Restoration (OR), which she founded in 2016 to tear down the roadblocks she faced when returning to society after 10 years in prison. OR offers 15 programs, which include access to college courses for women in prison, a women-first clinic, a clothing supply closet, case management services, advocacy programs and more.
Steib’s experience was like that of many people returning from prison. She was denied admission at the University of New Orleans, despite strong academic accomplishments, due largely to her criminal record. Two years later she reapplied, unchecked the box asking about criminal history, and was granted admission. She went on to earn her B.S. from Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and is a nationally certified and licensed clinical laboratory scientist.
She turned that personal experience into public action. Steib was a driving force behind Louisiana Act 276, passed in 2017, which prohibits public post-secondary institutions in Louisiana from asking questions relating to criminal history for purposes of admissions. Similar legislation has passed in three additional states and continues to expand.
Operation Restoration, New Orleans
Connect formerly incarcerated women to meaningful employment in the film industry while also addressing other needs.