Reduce recidivism, improve public safety and help people reach their human potential.
The mission of the SOAR Re-entry Initiative is to guide and empower formerly incarcerated people (ex-offenders) to maximize their potential, increasing their opportunities for successful reintegration and become productive citizens.
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.
The Liberty County Re-Entry Coalition, Inc. was founded in 2012 by a group of elected officials and community minded individuals who saw community-based reentry services as part of the equation to reduce recidivism and promote public safety. State Representative Al Williams led the charge, appointed a steering committee, and continues to support the initiative.
In 2014, the Coalition activated a steering team to assess community engagement, capacity, and determine the need. Monthly stakeholder meetings, focus groups, and program design strategies set in motion an implementation plan for the SOAR Re-Entry Center Initiative. The SOAR Re-Entry Center operations was initiated in January 2016, and the center officially opened for direct service to formerly incarcerated individuals on September 14, 2016. Hundreds of stakeholders witnessed a flagship model which has been recognized across the state. Liberty County was also selected as one of seventeen Georgia Prison Re-Entry Initiative Sites by the Governor's Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry (GOTSR). Though the Liberty County Re-Entry Coalition, Inc. did not receive state funding, it has strategically sustained the SOAR Re-Entry Center to serve more than 1,000 formerly incarcerated individuals to this day with support from local agencies, caring citizens, faith-based organizations, and social organizations.
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.