ATLANTA - The Reentry Services Unit of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS) has announced several events for interested citizens to learn more about the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GA-PRI) and the Healing Communities of Georgia.

With an emphasis on public safety, community involvement, case management, and evidence-based practices, the GA-PRI is a statewide strategic plan and framework serving medium- to high-risk returning citizens. A local reentry council collaborates with DCS staff, local corrections professionals, state agency personnel and community service providers to assist returning citizens as they navigate the barriers to successful reentry in an effort to ultimately increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

Healing Communities of Georgia, a key component of the GA-PRI, is a model for local community involvement to assist returning citizens as they seek to restore relationships with their families, communities, and when possible, the victims of their crimes. These designated “Stations of Hope” are a network of faith-based organizations, dedicated nonprofits, and government agencies that are implementing Healing Communities principles within their communities. In addition, the “I Choose Support" mentoring movement is a Healing Communities program in which community volunteers serve as mentors to provide support and guidance for returning citizens.

GA-PRI Stakeholders Meetings

Facilitated to walk you through the critical components of the GA-PRI, this meeting will feature service providers, state agencies, elected officials and community members, who will discuss opportunities to advance the vision set forth by Governor Deal’s reentry efforts.

Douglas County

Location: Douglas County Superior Court

8700 Hospital Dr, Douglasville, GA 30134

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017

Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Contact: Registration is required. For registration or additional information, please contact Carol Chateau, DCS Community Coordinator, at 404-276-9176.

Clayton County

Location: Emmanuel Baptist Church

230 Hwy 138, Riverdale, GA 30274

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Contact: Registration is required. For registration or additional information, please contact Toni Watkins, DCS Community Coordinator, at 404-985-8758.

Healing Communities Training

Geared towards educating the public on the Healing Communities program, this event serves to outline the components and skills necessary to be a successful Station of Hope and/or I Choose Support mentor. Those in attendance will learn about the vision and mission of Healing Communities and receive training on best practices for effective interactions with returning citizens and their families.

LaGrange/Columbus

Location: Wynnton Hill Baptist Church

2620 Buena Vista Rd, Columbus, GA 31906

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017

Time: 10:00am-1:00pm

Contact: Registration is required. For registration or additional information, please contact either Melanie Connor at 478-960-5332 or Christopher Walker at 404-989-9794.

Regional Training

Location: Georgia Public Safety Training Center

1000 Indian Springs Dr, Forsyth, GA 31029

Date: Thursday, February 23 and Friday, February 24

Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Contact: Registration is required and overnight lodging is available. For registration or additional information, please contact Niyara Del Valle, DCS Reentry Services Unit, at 404-656-9770.

About DCS

DCS is responsible for the effective and efficient supervision of Georgia’s adult felony offenders and Class A and Class B designated juvenile offenders. Utilizing a holistic approach to offender supervision that involves all facets of the community which includes, but is not limited to: victims and their families, programs for offenders and their families, involvement in community activities and partnerships with other criminal justice agencies, DCS works to hold offenders accountable and reduce the state’s recidivism rate.

Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Racheal Peters, DCS Director of Public Affairs at 470-755-4358 or racheal.borgman@dcs.ga.gov.