September 26, 2007 Albany -- A program that helps people reenter society after serving jail or prison time is in jeopardy of shutting down.
Albany Dougherty Restorative Justice is a non-profit group that strives to lower the repeat offender rate in the community. But it's out of money and at the end of the month will be out of a home.
Less than a year ago, Albany-Dougherty Restorative Justice Center opened the doors of its new office, thanks to Congressman Sanford Bishop who presented the group with a $25,000 grant.
"We can kind of be their compass and make it easier for them to find services they need," says Executive Director Joyce Jordan. Leading 91 clients in a new direction since they opened, but now, the money has run out. "Our funding has not come through as we anticipated. Right now we have zero funds."
At the time the grant from Bishop's office was approved, Restorative Justice didn't have its own non-profit status and went through another board to get the grant. But now, the two boards have split and the money has been spent.
"We're going to lose a lot. The people will lose a lot. But we've been trying to do the right thing so I'm hoping the right thing will prevail." Jordan is reapplying for grant money, and hope to get a positive answer soon.
Because the program hopes to reach a big goal in the next month or so. "November 2nd marks our first anniversary and by that time we know that we will have exceeded our goal," said Jordan.
A goal of helping 100 clients. But now that may not happen, since they may not have an anniversary at all. Restorative Justice also works with offenders for pre-trial intervention.
Right now, all the workers at Restorative Justice serve on a volunteer basis. The lease agreement for their office has been canceled, since they split from the other non-profit and they will soon move to a smaller office, if they can pay the rent.