Offenders Across the State Lead and Assist with Prison Programs

Commissioner: 
Homer Bryson
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Dorsey
Contact Number: 
(478) 992-5248
Contact Email: 
Jeal.Dorsey@gdc.ga.gov
STATE OF GEORGIA

Offenders Across the State Lead and Assist with Prison Programs

1,196 offenders working in education, chaplaincy, and other programming

FORSYTH, Ga. Currently, 1,196 offenders are working as program assistants and leaders for the Georgia Department of Corrections. The various programs have helped build character, reduce recidivism, and improve behavior.

“The Department is proud of the offenders chosen to lead and assist with facility programming,” said Commissioner Bryson. “These programs have truly had a positive impact on the lives of these men.”

The Peer approach draws from Albert Bandua’s Social Learning Theory, which postulates that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling.  Two of several programs offered across the state that allow offenders to lead and assist with the development of their peers are Peer-to-Peer and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS).

The Peer-to-Peer program gives an offender the opportunity to have a positive impact on a fellow offender’s life by mentoring him or her and encouraging personal growth. Two facilities that have seen tremendous success from Peer-to-Peer programing are the Lee Evidence Based Prison, whose learning site saw a 62% reduction in disciplinary reports (DR) from December 2015 to February 2016, and Walker Faith and Character Based Prison, whose highest number of DRs received in month was 14 in the last five years.   

Phillips State Prison offers a Bachelors of Arts degree in Christian Ministry through the NOBTS. Once offenders complete the program, they go to one of 22 Georgia prisons to assist and participate in the Faith and Character Based (F&CB) program, a program that promotes personal and spiritual growth and development. Since July 1, 2015, 12 offenders from Phillips have obtained a Christian Ministry certification and with their assistance, 285 offenders have completed the F&CB programming.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit gdc.ga.gov.

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