Turning Leaf Signs a New Lease on Re-Entry Reform Thanks to State Funding

It’s not easy expanding to a new city. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to raise the money needed for our new Turning Leaf center in Columbia, South Carolina since early 2020. Last month we were thrilled with a big win: the State of South Carolina granted us enough state funding that we were able to sign the lease on our new office space!
This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of South Carolina State Representative Chris Murphy, who sponsored the introduction of the funds into the State budget.
South Carolina State Representative J. Todd Rutherford and Director of South Carolina’s Department of Corrections, Bryan Stirling, were also instrumental.
Several days ago, after signing the lease, we received the keys to our new facility in Columbia at 630 Blue Ridge Terrace. Our team is now hard at work planning for our grand opening the week of October 27th. There are walls to be painted! Equipment to move from Charleston to Columbia! Furniture to be painted! Utilities to set up!
So much to do, but we know we can do it. We have to.
Across the state, over 7,000 people are released from prison each year. Nationally, 62% of people released from prison will be re-arrested within three years. Only 22% of Turning Leaf graduates have ever been re-arrested, and 91% of graduates have retained employment for at least six months. Successful reentry programs like ours give returning citizens opportunities to support themselves through legitimate and productive work, thereby reducing recidivism and improving public safety.
Our program combines 150-hours of cognitive behavioral therapy to teach men prosocial ways of thinking and acting; one-on-one case management to manage individual barriers to success; transitional employment in the Turning Leaf Print Shop where men can practice life skills in a safe environment; and placement in jobs with livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
Expanding Turning Leaf state-wide requires an investment of $6 million over the next three years. We are beyond grateful to Representatives Murphy and Rutherford as well as to Bryan Stirling for their continued support and championship of our cause.