Program to help newly released SC inmates to be unveiled in Columbia this week (The State by John Monk)

A program in Charleston shown to help newly freed, high-risk South Carolina inmates develop life skills after prison will be unveiled Wednesday in Columbia. The re-entry program for men, which has been hailed as a success during the six years it’s operated in Charleston, is called Turning Leaf Project. Program leaders there teach former inmates … Read more

Troy

Every Turning Leaf participant is unique. Special. Different backgrounds, different education levels. Different family structures and barriers to success. Troy, though. Now here’s a guy who really stands out. He was educated in some of the top schools in Charleston. He was the first male in his family to graduate from high school. He had … Read more

Most nonprofits think they’re special, but we really are

To an untrained eye, it’s easy to think that Turning Leaf is just like any other reentry organization. But we’re not. Okay, you might be thinking, “Sure, every nonprofit thinks they’re special.” That’s probably true, but seriously, we really are. I can prove it.   I officially started out my career in reentry as a case … Read more

Turning Leaf is raising the stakes, and its profile, in recidivism (Post & Courier)

An audience at the Mount Pleasant library listens silently as three men calmly talk about violence, the crimes they’ve committed, the drugs they’ve sold — and the reason they quit. She’s sitting in the front row. The men are students of Amy Barch’s Turning Leaf Project, a local nonprofit working to quell the epidemic of recidivism. … Read more

Starting Anew (Charleston Mag)

Getting out of prison isn’t easy. There’s parole and probation to navigate, child custody issues, securing housing, finding a job, and avoiding the temptation to fall back into criminal habits. That’s what drew Turning Leaf Project founder Amy Barch to reentry work—despite her middle-class upbringing, she understood why the less privileged would take whatever they … Read more

Training the Brain to Stay out of Jail (The Marshall Project)

Growing up in public housing in North Charleston, S.C., in the 1970s, David Hayward was familiar with poverty, violence and loss. His mother, grandmother and brother all died when he was young, and his father was in prison. He became addicted to alcohol and cocaine and occasionally lived under bridges and in abandoned buildings, he … Read more

Unless those at the top act, South Carolina prisons will perpetuate crime problem (Post & Courier)

South Carolina prisons are not rehabilitating criminals — they’re training them. In most of the state’s roughest correctional facilities, the yard is not so different from life on the street. Inmates may have to sell drugs to survive, join a gang for protection and constantly watch their manners — and their six — to avoid brutal assault. Solitary … Read more