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Gov. Signs Criminal Bill into Law

Deal signs criminal justice reform bill into law

Gov. Nathan Deal signs Senate Bill 365 on Sunday during a special morning service at Antioch Baptist Church in Gainesville. The bill aims to help nonviolent offenders get back to work.

One in three Georgia inmates will return to prison within three years of being placed on parole, but a new state law aims to reduce those numbers and help nonviolent offenders get back to work.

“It is that third leg of the criminal justice reform program that we’ve put in place,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. “The first were the adult accountability courts. Second was the juvenile diversion centers, and this third will be the transition, support and re-entry (program) for those who are in our system who will be getting out.”

Deal signed Senate Bill 365 into law Sunday at Antioch Baptist Church in Gainesville. The changes, part of the governor’s three-pronged approach to criminal justice reform, focuses on helping inmates make the transition from incarceration back into society.

“That is dealing with our population in our prison systems,” Deal said. “Those almost 60,000 individuals. At some point in time, almost all of them will be paroled and will be back in our society. If we do not do what we can to make it possible for them to re-enter and be law-abiding citizens when they re-enter, then we have, in fact, increased the danger to all of us as Georgians.”

According to Deal, one in three inmates on parole end up going back into prison within three years of their release.

“This speaks to a number of issues that Georgia has lagged behind,” said Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville. Miller was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 365. “I think the governor has shown great leadership in having this criminal justice reform (be a part of) his administration.”

The bill Deal signed Sunday addresses education levels and job opportunities for former inmates; more will now have access to GED and post-secondary training programs.

“Almost 70 percent of the inmates in our state prison system do not have a high school diploma or a GED,” Deal said. “Now, you know how difficult it is for someone who does not have that kind of basic educational skill to get a job. Tack on top of that, a felony record that you bring with you.”

To help increase education levels among inmates, Deal has hired outgoing Forsyth County Superintendent Buster Evans to join the Department of Corrections in July as the assistant commissioner of education.

“We’re going to turn many of these individuals around,” Deal said. “We’re going to give them the chance to do what they did not take advantage of … when they were younger. And that was to get a high school diploma.”

Deal also said the state will set an example for private sector employers by not automatically dismissing job applicants with a criminal history.

“We decided Georgia can set the right example,” Deal said. “With the exception of certain jobs that would require a little higher scrutiny of background, all of the other jobs — which is a vast majority of jobs in state government —somebody will not be automatically rejected because they had to check that box.

“If somebody has taken advantage of the opportunity to change their life and to change who they are, they deserve the chance to tell somebody that’s considering them for a job what those changes have been.”

A certification program will be created to help adult inmates better transition out of prison and back into their community. After course completion and their release, they’ll be able to show that certificate to potential employers.

“I support the governor in his efforts to provide additional opportunities for offenders to transition successfully back into society,” Warden Walt Davis of the Hall County Correctional Institute said. “That’s really the gist of it. He’s setting up things, he’s putting things into motion, he’s looking at some changes … to help eliminate some of those things, and to allow a more successful transition. I commend him for that.”

The law encompasses other areas well, including giving judges more discretion when suspending the driver’s license of someone with a minor drug offense.

It also revises some aspects of foster care, including making sure a child’s long-term housing plan is periodically reviewed to ensure it’s still the best plan for that child.

“When does a kid go into foster care? Why does he go into foster care?” Miller said. “If he has a delinquent act, how do you handle it? That’s important, because children should have an environment of support and encouragement and stability. This speaks to that, and this speaks to foster care children being provided a better venue and a more stable home environment.”

Deal hopes the changes, once implemented, will decrease how many offenders return to prison, instead remaining at home and able to contribute to their families and communities.

“How fast will we see the changes? I can’t tell you that,” the governor said. “Sometimes, you have to plant the seedling and wait a few years to be able to sit under the shade of it.

“But if you never plant the seedling, you’ll never have the tree to sit under. So today, we’re planting the seedling.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

JOB FAIR ATLANTA

If you’re an ex-offender and need help with getting ready for this Job Fair, please email or call us now.

 


 NATIONAL CareerFairs

You are invited to the

Atlanta Career Fair

Where
HOTEL CAPITOL PARK ATLANTA 
450 Capitol Avenue SE 
Atlanta, GA 30312
When
February 5, 2014
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Register for Free And Get:

  • Free onsite resume reviews from career experts
  • Access to the full list of participating companies
  • Email reminders with helpful career tips and advice
  • Our Career Fair Guide to print and bring to the event
Register Now
Dozens of companies will be hiring for multiple positions:

  

And Many More!

Register Now – It’s Free!

The Federal Bonding Program

Been an eX-offender can be a burden on its own when it comes to job search. However, the burden should not be consider permanent as their is always a way out with a strong will. Attending technical schools or obtaining some type of required skills can be an asset for the eX-offender, but not without its own challenge. Again, when there is a will, there is always a way.

If you are considering getting a new skill set to help facilitate your transition, then consider more information about the “Federal Bonding Program.” The program is offered by the Department of Labor at no cost to you, the eX-offender. If you need more information or know someone who does, please visit or call your local/nearest Department of Labor for more location.

You can also visit http://www.servicelocator.org for more information on how to apply, necessary forms needed to apply and assistance on how to complete and submit the forms. When all else fails, please send email to newstart@reentryproject.org to request assistance. Good luck in your job search.

 

Service Provider Database

legal counseling1



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A Mother’s Cry

A PLEA FOR HELP

Many times during the course of any given month, we receive in excess of ten [10] calls from mothers across from the State of Georgia; particularly from Cobb, Dekalb and Fulton Counties for help. These calls are from mothers of incarcerated young men ranging from age 19 through 35 – sometimes older. And what do they have in common? They are all pleading for help. Can you please help my son? He’s coming home [not from military service in Afghanistan or Iraq] but from the prison system after 3, 4, 5 years or sometimes longer sentences.

I am sure when you click on this page, you expect to find it and read the content on it which in turn will empower you to go and do something…whatever that something is, perhaps just for basic information. But you found the page. Imagine after clicking on this page – you find an error page. A 404 Error page with no further instructions….A dead-end! Nothing! How will it feel?

That’s how most of these mothers feel when all they get, at every attempt made in seeking help for their loved ones; ends up in a dead-end. Also, they hear “sorry, we can’t help you” or “call this number or that number etc”. My experience with this project has taught me that telephone numbers in itself do not help people. People – help people.

So, would you help Reentry Project of Cobb County help those mothers who are trying to help their children? We do appreciate your help. Remember that all of your donations to this or other non-profit agencies qualify as tax-deductible.

We are mostly in need of sponsors for our work related program to help get 600 young men out of the streets,  permanently out of the prison industry and into the work force. Please ask for a confidential plan on how this can come to life with your generosity.

From the Desk of Program Director

104.1/104.3 FM Radio Interview

If you’re a fan of Tom Joyner Morning Show or you care deeply about the issues of our ex-offender population, then you’ll have the opportunity to listen to our Executive Director in a one on one conversation with Sasha The Diva on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10 between 6:00 am & 10:00 am on 104.1 FM talking about the problems with our correctional systems. If you miss it on the Radio, then check back here to listen to and download the podcast. You’ll be glad you did. Hot Stuff!

[Date is subject to change without notice. Please keep checking back in case it is postponed to allow for more advertising of this very essential conversation

Job Bank – Greyhound Bus Drivers

Recently Posted – 08/31/2012

Greyhound Bus Company needs to hire 600 bus drivers. No previous driving experience nor CDL license is needed.

They will train those hired. Applicants need to be over 25 years old and be able to pass drug screening test

There are some positions for those 22-24 years old. Starting salary is $25.00 per hour.

Interested parties should contact John Hall for further information at 773/925-1572 or 773/972-8196 or click on the following link

www.greyhound.com/en/drivingcareers.aspx.

Amtrak Posting

AMTRAK is hiring (NO DEGREE REQUIRED!!) AMTRAK HIRING – PASS IT ON!!! EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE A DEGREE! PASS-ON TO SOMEONE WHO CAN USE THIS!

 Great jobs for young men who aren’t in college and strong young women also! This is Obama money for “infrastructure” the jobs are located all over, paid training in Atlanta. This is an awesome opportunity, please pass this on. These jobs pay good wages.

 Training: You will attend two or three weeks of training at the Railroad Education & Development Institute in Atlanta , GA. CSX will pay for travel, lodging and meals as required by collective bargaining agreement.

 Track Worker-030702 Job Summary: Work as a member of a crew to install new railroad track, maintain existing track and right-of-way. Replace or repair track switches with specific components. Slide and align tie plates. Drill holes through rails for insertion of bolts and tighten or loosen bolts at joints that hold ends or rails together. Correct deviations in track surface, alignment and gauge Cut rails to specific lengths etc. Pay Rate Entry Rate $19.36/hour Full Rate $21.52/hour Promotional/ Advancement Opportunities: Under Maintenance of Way Collective Bargaining Agreement, Track Workers may be considered for advancement or promotion to other positions within the Engineering Department if qualified. Machine Operator $23.25 – $24.81/hour Welder Helper $21.93/hour Bridge Tender $21.93/hour Bridge Mechanic $22.65/hour Foreman $22.71 – $25.53/hour Track Inspector $23.98 – $25.14/hour Qualifications: High School diploma/GED; 18 years of age or older; Valid Driver’s License

At CSX, two of the company’s core values are People Make The Difference and Safety Is A Way of Life. We are committed to offering our team members the most competitive compensation and benefits package available, unlimited opportunities for development and growth throughout an exciting and rewarding career, and the safest work environment possible. CSX is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer that supports diversity in the workplace.

 

Know The Facts – Census Bureau 2011

Cobb County, Georgia

Info Further information Want more? Browse data sets for Cobb County
People QuickFacts Cobb County Georgia
Population definition and source info Population, 2011 estimate 697,553 9,815,210
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 688,078 9,687,660
Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1 definition and source info Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 1.4% 1.3%
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 688,078 9,687,653
Persons under 5 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 5 years, percent, 2011 6.9% 7.0%
Persons under 18 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 18 years, percent, 2011 25.3% 25.4%
Persons 65 years and over, percent definition and source info Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2011 9.1% 11.0%
Female persons, percent definition and source info Female persons, percent, 2011 51.4% 51.1%
White persons, percent definition and source info White persons, percent, 2011 (a) 66.7% 63.2%
Black persons, percent definition and source info Black persons, percent, 2011 (a) 25.9% 31.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent definition and source info American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2011 (a) 0.5% 0.5%
Asian persons, percent definition and source info Asian persons, percent, 2011 (a) 4.7% 3.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander persons, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander persons, percent, 2011 (a) 0.1% 0.1%
Persons reporting two or more races, percent definition and source info Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2011 2.2% 1.8%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent definition and source info Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent, 2011 (b) 12.5% 9.1%
White persons not Hispanic, percent definition and source info White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2011 56.0% 55.5%
Living in same house 1 year & over definition and source info Living in same house 1 year & over, 2006-2010 81.5% 82.3%
Foreign born persons, percent definition and source info Foreign born persons, percent, 2006-2010 15.2% 9.6%
Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+ definition and source info Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2006-2010 19.5% 12.7%
High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+ definition and source info High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2006-2010 90.2% 83.5%
Bachelor Bachelor’s degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+, 2006-2010 43.8% 27.2%
Veterans definition and source info Veterans, 2006-2010 47,766 708,862
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+ definition and source info Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2006-2010 29.7 27.0
Housing units definition and source info Housing units, 2010 286,490 4,088,801
Homeownership rate definition and source info Homeownership rate, 2006-2010 69.6% 67.2%
Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent definition and source info Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2006-2010 25.1% 20.5%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units definition and source info Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010 $211,000 $161,400
Households definition and source info Households, 2006-2010 256,741 3,468,704
Persons per household definition and source info Persons per household, 2006-2010 2.62 2.66
 definition and source info Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010 $33,110 $25,134
 definition and source info Median household income 2006-2010 $65,522 $49,347
Persons below poverty level, percent definition and source info Persons below poverty level, percent, 2006-2010 10.6% 15.7%
Business QuickFacts Cobb County Georgia
Private nonfarm establishments definition and source info Private nonfarm establishments, 2009 19,247 219,3481
Private nonfarm employment definition and source info Private nonfarm employment, 2009 303,501 3,410,5051
Private nonfarm employment definition and source info Private nonfarm employment, percent change 2000-2009 -3.0% -2.1%1
Nonemployer establishments definition and source info Nonemployer establishments, 2009 62,097 734,830
Total number of firms definition and source info Total number of firms, 2007 77,945 901,105
Black-owned firms, percent definition and source info Black-owned firms, percent, 2007 18.6% 20.4%
American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent definition and source info American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007 0.7% 0.7%
Asian-owned firms, percent definition and source info Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007 4.8% 5.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent, 2007 0.1% 0.1%
Hispanic-owned firms, percent definition and source info Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007 5.5% 3.6%
Women-owned firms, percent definition and source info Women-owned firms, percent, 2007 31.7% 30.9%
Manufacturers shipments definition and source info Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000) 5,651,641 144,280,774
Merchant wholesaler sales definition and source info Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000) 15,524,844 141,962,359
Retail sales definition and source info Retail sales, 2007 ($1000) 10,480,711 117,516,907
Retail sales per capita definition and source info Retail sales per capita, 2007 $15,157 $12,326
Accommodation and food services sales definition and source info Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000) 1,393,471 16,976,235
Building permits definition and source info Building permits, 2011 1,758 18,493
Federal spending definition and source info Federal spending, 2010 6,730,926 92,387,1191
Geography QuickFacts Cobb County Georgia
Land area in square miles definition and source info Land area in square miles, 2010 339.55 57,513.49
Persons per square mile definition and source info Persons per square mile, 2010 2,026.4 168.4
Persons per square mile definition and source info FIPS Code 067 13
Persons per square mile definition and source info Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA Metro Area

 

 

(a) Includes persons reporting only one race.
(b) Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable race categories.D: Suppressed to avoid disclosure of confidential information
F: Fewer than 100 firms
FN: Footnote on this item for this area in place of data
NA: Not available
S: Suppressed; does not meet publication standards
X: Not applicable
Z: Value greater than zero but less than half unit of measure shown

GEORGIA should follow ILLINOIS

Public Policy and External Relations

July 17, 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BOND COURT CHANGES

We applaud Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for taking a step in the right direction by releasing a report detailing new initiatives to reform the bond court system (Chicago Tribune: “Cook County looking at bond court changes,” July 12, 2012).

Those of us who work to break the cycle of crime and detention that destroys people’s lives and destabilizes communities are deeply encouraged, especially when all stakeholders involved with the report agree that we can do better.

We’re pleased that the County has identified effective ways to spend less of its budget on incarceration, and more on properly assessing and supporting those who could return to their families and communities at little to no risk to overall public safety.

According to the report released on July 12, 2012, by the Justice Advisory Council, it’s estimated that 900 inmates out of the 9,400 currently incarcerated are non-violent offenders with low bonds, yet they cannot afford to post bail or don’t have a residence, making them ineligible for home monitoring.

Under this new proposal, the county will save money-an estimated $143 per prisoner per day-and free up jail space by releasing low-level inmates who currently must remain incarcerated if they are unable to post the required bond money. And-most importantly-this cost saving will come at very low risk to the safety of our communities.

Through home monitoring, these low-risk defendants can continue to work, help their families or attend school. They can participate in critical out patient, community-based programs that successfully treat drug and alcohol addiction and are proven to reducing the overall recidivism rate. Rather than waiting idle for their trial at the Cook County Jail, they’ll have access to services that will provide them with the skills necessary to become law-abiding contributors to society.

Rather than sitting in jail at taxpayer expense, our hope is that many low-risk defendants will be returned to their communities and provided services that will allow them to make better life choices, rebuild their families, improve their communities, and become productive citizens. When that happens, we all benefit.

Diane Williams

President

Safer Foundation

Pamela Rodriguez

President

TASC, Inc.

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