Program aims to help parolees, probationers transition back to society | The Augusta Chronicle

19
Sep

Program aims to help parolees, probationers transition back to society | The Augusta Chronicle

The Rev. Larry Fryer wants to write a road map to help young people on probation and parole walk a straight path.

Nearly every day, Fryer, the pastor of Hudson Memorial CME Church and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform in Augusta, meets past felons who returned to the same habits and same environment that landed them in jail.

“Some need direction in order that they won’t commit criminal activities again,” Fryer said.

In partnership with District Attorney Ashley Wright, Fryer has developed a new program called “One Church, One Goal: A Chance to Change” to provide a second chance for troubled individuals. The faith-based program aims to create a support network that creates alternatives for non-violent offenders, especially juveniles.

Reducing rates of recidivism has been a recent focus of juvenile justice reform in Georgia. In 2012, a report from the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians recommended methods for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to save money and invest the savings into community support programs to reduce recidivism.

According to a December 2011 recidivism report, the DJJ found that 34 percent of individuals released in fiscal year 2009 had been convicted of another crime within one year. The rate increased to 41 percent after two years and 45 percent after three years.

Fryer said the statistics are alarming and unacceptable. Communities need to be more involved in fostering healthy environments for young people.

via Program aims to help parolees, probationers transition back to society | The Augusta Chronicle.

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