Georgia Prison Helps Overcome Recidivism through Reentry Classes

Former prison inmates have hard times securing jobs on the outside. Reentry classes help overcome recidivism by preparing them for financial security.

Not being able to make a living to support themselves and their families is a major problem. It forces many ex-inmates to go back to crimes.

Then they get caught again and land back in prison, increasing the recidivism rate in the US.

Coweta County Prison's Very 1st Reentry Program Class Graduation

Coweta County Prison’s Very 1st Reentry Program Class Graduation

Coweta County Prison Creates Reentry Programs to Overcome Recidivism

But the Coweta County Prison is trying to prevent this recidivism phenomenon by offering reentry programs to inmates. Only inmates that are near the end of their sentences are allowed to take part in the reentry classes.

Issues Faced by Newly Released Inmates

Ex-prisoners face employment problems when they are released. They also face housing problems. In fact, many of them lack the requisite skills for self-sufficiency on the streets.

Many others do not even know how to write resumes or perform at a job interview. Because of their backgrounds, many employers do not even want to touch ex-inmates with a 10-foot pole.

So what stops ex-inmates from returning to crime and then returning back to the security of prison? What can be done to address the recidivism rate in America?

Coweta County Prison seems to be addressing these issues in its effort to help overcome recidivism.

Coweta County Prison Reentry Program Staff

Coweta County Prison Reentry Program Staff. Image Source: Times Herald

Inmates Lead Reentry Classes at Coweta County Prison

Coweta County Prison has stepped in to help lower the recidivism rates in its local area. Its reentry program will equip soon-to-be released inmates with the skills they need to succeed on the outside.

It runs for four weeks. The first and second sets of inmates’ classes have graduated from the reentry program. It is part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s package to reform criminal justice in the State of Georgia.

Prison Warden Bill McKenzie and Deputy Warden Larry Clifton organized the reentry classes. It runs with the help of inmates Johnny Anderson and Rick Rubisch. Both taught GED classes at Troup County Prison.

But, when the prison was shut down, both were moved to Coweta where they continued with their services. There is a guideline for reentry classes in the state.

However, Anderson and Rubisch customized it to meet the specific needs of Coweta County Prison inmates. They too are doing their parts to overcome recidivism.

What Does The Reentry Classes Entail For Qualified Inmates?

The Coweta inmate reentry classes open participants up to the realities that are going to confront them when they walk out of prison. They are also exposed to basic tools and resources that could help them surmount the huddles.

Some of these classes cover:

  • Job searching skills
  • Goal setting
  • Managing finances
  • Education advancement
  • Resume writing
  • Succeeding at job interviews
  • Other marketable skills

According to Clifton, the program puts deserving inmates into the:

“…mindset of what life should be and can be once they are released.”

Charles Omedo has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches. He currently writes prison news for loved ones of inmates on the Prison Rideshare Network.