Reduce recidivism, improve public safety and empower people.
The SOAR (Support, Opportunity, Advocacy, Resiliency) Re-Entry Initiative was initiated in 2014 at the Historic Dorchester Center in Midway, Georgia. The SOAR Re-Entry Service Center was opened in Hinesville, Georgia, on September 14, 2016. SOAR is carefully designed as a holistic approach to comprehensive treatment and services to meet the needs of people in the first six months of release from prison.
We envision a broad-based community collaboration between local government, agencies, organizations, businesses, churches, law enforcement, and citizens--to empower and equip people with the tools they need to succeed after release from prison.
Daisy Jones, Executive Director
Morris Cockerm, Mentor Lead
Robert Turner, SOAR Navigator
Tyrone Doughit, SOAR Navigator
State Representative Al Williams (D-165) and Sheriff Steve Sikes led the founding and incorporation of the Liberty County Re-Entry Coalition in 2012. The Coalition gained momentum in 2014 after the introduction of the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GA-PRI) Framework by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. The Coalition saw a need to deliver in-person services to formerly incarcerated people, and subsequently opened the SOAR Re-Entry Center in September 2016. The site was designated in 2016 as one of only 17 GA PRI sites in the state of Georgia.
4.3 million people have a Georgia criminal record (approximately 40 percent of the Georgia’s adults). “Second Chance for Georgia,” a campaign led by the Georgia Justice Project (GJP), is aiming to bring change to millions of lives by working to expand expungement (known as “Record Restriction” in Georgia law) in the state of Georgia. Campaign information is available at SecondChanceGeorgia.org.
The Campaign brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to expand Georgia’s expungement law, which is one of the most restrictive and harshest in the country. Currently, 41 other states allow expungement of some misdemeanor and felony convictions after a period of conviction-free years. But no matter how many years have passed or how much a person has changed, almost all convictions stay on a person’s record forever in Georgia. Updating Georgia law to allow for restriction and sealing of certain misdemeanor and felony convictions would give thousands of Georgians a second chance.