Governor Jerry Brown encouraged business owners and companies to consider hiring former offenders while visiting San Diego Friday.
"To make it better, we need your help for the jobs. We need the training in the prison," said Brown, while addressing business owners.
He rallied support for the rehabilitation of prison inmates through working programs and future employment.
"We need correctional officers to understand their job is not to treat people like animals but to treat them like children of god as they are," said Brown.
Right now, California State Prisons have reached maximum capacity, said Brown. He blamed the private sector for treating the incarceration of inmates like a business scheme rather than working to truly rehabilitate inmates.
At the meeting in Lincoln Park, Brown asked business owners and companies to help by providing jobs to former offenders.
Without rehabilitation programs, prisons are converted into schools of crime, said Brown.
One former inmate, Kenyatta Leam, who is now a salesperson for a tech company in the Bay Area told NBC 7 that he used his time in prison to change his life.
"Everybody who's out there who thinks that people are just getting out of prison ready to commit another crime, that's not always the case," said Leam.
Leam said he found his way through a program called the Last Mile, which focuses on business and entrepreneurship.
"There's a lot of people that are inside that are doing the work and deserve a second chance," added Leam.
Brown said he will consider creating programs that provide incentives to companies that hire former offenders.