Release from prison is step one. Turner Aftercare and Reentry Program (TARP) is the next step.
TARP Mission Statement:
Our mission is to substantially reduce the recidivism rate of criminal activity by providing homeless returning citizens in Cobb County with free housing, life skills training, case management, counseling, referrals, mentoring, and other targeted services to promote positive, long-term economic, social, and psychological change.
More than 10,000 inmates are released from America’s state and federal prisons every week. The Georgia Department of Corrections reported 13,521 inmates were released in Georgia in 2021; 443 of these returning citizens were from Cobb County.
Studies have shown that approximately two-thirds of these returning citizens will be rearrested within three years of their release. More than half of these arrests will occur by the end of the first year.
What can we do to help these returning citizens become productive and law-abiding? With no job, no money, and no place to live, they often find themselves facing more pressures and temptations than the circumstances that landed them in prison in the first place.
We have found that the three key elements of successful reentry into our communities are:
Assisting returning citizens in finding and maintaining employment
Providing shelter and transitional housing
Providing mentoring and life skills training
As a program of the New Horizons CDC, the Turner Aftercare and Reentry Program (TARP) will provide these services and more.
TARP will reduce recidivism among participants by aiding them in becoming contributing members of society. With program structure and support, our clients will regain independence through employment, sobriety, and mentoring. They will learn new skills through weekly life skills classes. They will meet their goals and claim their opportunity to start over with a second chance.
TARP is a continuation of the Harmony House Program, which began delivering services August 1, 2006 but ceased operation during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. TARP will continue to provide free housing and transitional support to homeless male and female returning citizens who have been recently released from jail or prison, as well as outreach and referral services to non-residential clients, their families, and the community as a whole. Our goal is a safer community for all Cobb County residents through the reduction of recidivism and by aiding returning citizens in becoming law-abiding, responsible members of our community.
The men’s residential facility for TARP is located on Birney Street in Marietta, Georgia, and is leased to the program by Turner Chapel AME Church, with monthly rent donated as an in-kind expense. Turner Chapel AME Church will also continue to provide free office space on Fairground Street for the Program staff.
The TARP residential program not only will provide free housing to homeless returning citizens for up to 90 days, but will also provide comprehensive case management, counseling, job placement assistance, free meals, bus passes, support and services to aid residents in meeting their housing needs, resources for employment, and treatment needs while learning new life skills to aid them in developing a new life plan. The men residential facility has 5 beds for residents and one bed for the resident manager.
To qualify for our residential program, an individual being released from jail or prison into Cobb County must be homeless upon release. In addition, they must meet the following requirements:
Never committed a sex offense
Never committed a violent crime
Never been diagnosed with a severe mental problem
Returning citizens who do not qualify for our residential program may still receive referral services to aid them in meeting their employment, education, sobriety, and self-sufficiency goals via our non-residential program.
We believe in second chances. We believe in helping people reach their full potential. Our returning citizens are parents, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters. Through the help they receive from TARP, our returning citizens can become fully contributing members of our society. This is our way of providing rehabilitation with goals that work.
For more specific information regarding TARP, contact Rev. Harden Perry, Interim Program Manager, at (404) 798-7798 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.