Greenville Technical College and the Phillis Wheatley Community Center have partnered to open the GTC Returning Citizens Program at the PWCC.
The program will allow people transitioning from the criminal justice system back into the general public to go to one location for access to tools and resources, such as reentry education including conflict resolution and anger management, which may help them become self-sufficient and achieve upward mobility.
“We are excited about partnering with Greenville Technical College on the Returning Citizen Re-entry Program that is located on the campus of Phillis Wheatley Community Center,” said PWCC executive director Randy Jackson. “PWCC and GTC have been in discussion and planning this partnership for the past year, and now it has become a reality. This program will allow us to assist those who are reentering society and provide services through our other collaborating partners.”
The GTC Returning Citizens Program at PWCC’s services include evaluation and case management services, preparation to enter the GTC Quick Jobs program to learn job skills in 90 days or less, and alcohol and substance abuse support groups.
The program was able to open after S.C. Sen. Karl Allen helped secure $250,000 in funding from the state budget. Additional operational funding is provided by partner agencies including Goodwill, Eckerd Connect, SHARE Head Start, Greenville Area Parkinson’s, and Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
“We are grateful to Sen. Karl Allen and to the leadership at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center for coming together to benefit people who are leaving prison behind,” said GTC president Keith Miller. “By giving returning citizens a comprehensive set of tools for success and working with them individually to remove barriers, we can open the door to a better life and benefit the entire community.”
According to research by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Greenville County is one of the top five counties in the state for inmate incarceration, with one-fourth of those inmates being diagnosed with mental illnesses. The South Carolina Department of Corrections releases an average of 705 inmates per month with a recidivism rate of 27.5%.