The Turning Leaf Project is a small nonprofit in Charleston, SC that is dedicated to providing reentry and rehabilitation services for men being released from prison. “Our primary goal is to keep someone from re-offending”, says Amy Barch, Executive Director and Founder. “What is it that we need to do for each individual person to help them re-invent their life?”
Foundation funding supports the program’s mission of serving recently incarcerated adult men returning to Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties who have been assessed to have a medium to high risk of re-arrest. Through Turning Leaf’s Classroom Bootcamp, participants begin to learn coping skills that help them to better manage risky emotions and situations. To be successful after incarceration, Turning Leaf provides a network of support, soft work readiness skills, and ultimately a referral to a job and sustained employment in the competitive workforce.
All curriculum is based in concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy. Skills are not just taught, but practiced and role-played. This takes time and repetition. Research demonstrates that individuals likely to re-offend need 150+ hours of skill based learning to adopt new thinking and behavior patterns. (From website)
The Turning Leaf Project also helps those students that have completed the Bootcamp by offering additional in-house employment opportunities through their screen printing shop. This temporary job extends the length of program involvement and gives the person additional job training before job placement. Men who complete their temporary job in the screen printing shop are transitioned into employment at one of government job sites or within the private sector.
“It has been my great honor to work with the Turning Leaf Project over the course of several grant cycles.” Donna Waites, Foundation Senior Program Director “The mission of the organization and the work of the team at Turning Leaf so closely aligns with our Foundation’s mission, as well as every one of our core values. The courage that this small, but mighty, team has exhibited since inception has deeply and positively impacted the lives of hundreds of men and their families.”
For more information on The Turning Leaf Project, visit their website at https://www.turningleafproject.com.