State officials praise inmate mentoring program - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State officials praise inmate mentoring program

Albany had its first training session for inmate mentors. (Source: WALB) Albany had its first training session for inmate mentors. (Source: WALB)
Dozens of volunteers attended the training for a state run program called "I Choose Support." (Source: WALB) Dozens of volunteers attended the training for a state run program called "I Choose Support." (Source: WALB)
Director of the Faith and Justice Initiative Tony Lowden (Source: WALB) Director of the Faith and Justice Initiative Tony Lowden (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany's first training session for mentors to work with inmates recently released from Georgia prisons on Tuesday, drew praise from state officials.

Dozens of volunteers attended the training for a state run program called "I Choose Support," which is run through the Department of Community Supervision (DCS). 

Volunteers will mentor and support men and women as they transition from prison back into the community, and hopefully help them stay out from behind bars.

"Coming back into the community. Being re-integrated back into the community. And have people that they can count on. People to talk to. People who can say I made it, you can make it. We can't continue locking folks up to make our community safe," said Director of the Faith and Justice Initiative Tony Lowden.

State officials said that there are 53 thousand Georgians in prison, and 97 percent of them will be released one day. The Support program is to help as many as possible with mentors, to keep them from committing crimes again.  

How to become a coach

1. Submit an application to a DCS Office 
2. Pass the screening and interview process 
3. Be at least 21 years of age 
4. Reside or work in the circuit of the participant's supervision 
5. Complete orientation and training 
6. Commit to 4 hours monthly for 1 year 

Those interested in being a coach can contact the Atlanta DCS office at (404) 656-4661 for more information or visit the DCS website.

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