Where Public Safety and Progress Meet

Returning citizen ministry model comes to Columbus

April 5, 2016

The Governor’s Office of Transition Support and Reentry (GOTSR) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Faith and Community Partnership is sponsoring a one-day ‘Healing Communities’ basic and advanced training event in Columbus.

‘Healing Communities’ is a ministerial framework that focuses on men and women who are returning from or who maybe at risk of entering jail or the prison system. The program challenges congregations to become ‘Stations of Hope’ for those persons impacted by the criminal justice system. The model teaches faith leaders how to embrace returning citizens, how to help them connect with their own personal faith and it also underscores the importance of collaborating with friends and family members in efforts to restore damaged and broken relationships.

“The ‘Healing Communities’ model complements our holistic approach to offender reentry by focusing on forgiveness, grace, restoration and accountability. This training also enhances the faith community’s ability to better understand and address the challenges returning citizens face in the transition and reentry process,” said GOTSR Deputy Director Jay Sanders.

GOTSR has adopted the ‘Healing Communities’ faith-based reentry model and hopes to introduce it to faith leaders and provide them with the tools and information necessary to implement the model within their own congregations and communities. Upon completion of the training, faith leaders will be able to teach the ‘Healing Communities’ model to ministry leaders, counselors and laypersons alike. The event will also serve as an interdenominational networking opportunity for anyone interested in prison ministry.

Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, director of the Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Prisoner Reentry Project of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation and Associate Professor of Applied Theology at Howard School of Divinity, will be leading the training.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Columbus Library located at 3000 Macon Rd in Columbus, Georgia.

Contact Information: 
For more information, please contact Jay Sanders at the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry @ 404-656-9770 or jay.sanders@dcs.ga.gov.