Agenda Report # ____
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY JAIL MINISTRY, INC. FOR $38,000.00 FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING THE INITIATIVES OF CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY JAIL MINISTRY, INC.
WHEREAS, Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. has the GED Preparation Program to impact the lives of Muscogee County inmates to reduce the rate of recidivism and substance abuse and,
WHEREAS, the Columbus Office of Crime Prevention has authorized funding under the Crime Prevention Program for this project in the amount of $38,000.00 to the Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
The Mayor is hereby authorized to enter into a one-year contract through the Columbus Office of Crime Prevention with Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. for $38,000.00 for funding the GED Preparation Program. Funds are budgeted in the FY16 budget: Other Local Option Sales Tax, Crime Prevention Program.
Councilor Allen voting________________.
Councilor Baker voting________________.
Councilor Barnes voting_______________.
Councilor Buck voting_____________.
Councilor Davis voting________________.
Councilor Henderson voting____________.
Councilor Huff voting_________________.
Councilor Pugh voting_________________.
Councilor Thomas voting______________.
Councilor Woodson voting_____________.
TINY B. WASHINGTON TERESA PIKE TOMLINSON
Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. has been in operation since 2009 within the Muscogee County Jail. The program works to reduce the recidivism rate by helping the inmates receive their GED. The program will have active involvement of 115 inmates per year and help 55 inmates receive their GED.
I, Neil Richardson the duly authorized representative of the above named Grant Recipient, do hereby agree to the following terms that outline the requirements of Columbus, Georgia for organizations/agencies receiving funds from the Columbus Office of Crime Prevention. I have been given the opportunity to ask questions regarding these terms and fully understand my organization’s obligations incurred by accepting this grant. I understand that prior to the disbursements of any funds the following criteria must be met:
Name of Organization: Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc
Address: 2305 15 St #3, Columbus, GA 31906
CEO/Executive Director: Neil Richardson
Contact Person/ Title: Neil Richardson, Executive Director
Telephone and email: 706-575-1483 Email Address:email@example.com
Has the applicant organization ever received a grant from COCP? XX Yes _____No
If yes, when was the grant made? Each of the last 3 years. Was a final report submitted?
Yes. 2 of the 3 have been submitted and the current year report due this summer
C. Project Budget
Project Revenue and Support
2. Support (indicate with * if already committed)
Other private support $8,000.00
Government support (COCP Grant) $37,700.00
Other County agency
Organizations cash applied to project
3. TOTAL PROJECT REVENUE AND SUPPORT $45,700.00
4. Personnel (give as much detail as possible)
We provide 55 hours of instruction for men and 55 hours of instruction for women per month at $20.00 per hour. Our instructors teach math, reading, science, social studies and writing. 110 hours at $20.00 equals $2,200.00 per month or $26,400 per year
Office Supplies 0
We have secured donors for all our office supply needs
The new testing system required updating our computer lab. We were able to secure 10 new laptops with Windows 7 installed for free and have upgraded to the new testing requirements
In order to teach computer use in the dorms, we needed laptops with typing software. We were able to get these computers donated as well and have the ability to take practice laptops into the dorms so inmates are familiar with the computers and ready to test.
Subtotal, Supplies and equipment $3,000.00
7. Travel (Itemize) 0
Subtotal, Travel 0
8. Printing and copying $0
Subtotal, Printing and copying $0
9. Marketing and publicity 0
10. Mailing/postage 0
11. Telephone/fax 0
12. Other 0
13. TOTAL PROJECT EXPENSE $45,700.00
D. PROJECT SUMMARY/NARRATIVE
1. Organization: Briefly state the primary purpose of the organization
We exist to serve and equip ex-offenders, homeless men or women and recovering people as they transition back into our community. We offer a ministerial presence in and out of the jail to anyone in need. Our purpose is to share the love of God and meet the spiritual and physical needs of those seeking a victorious life. As a result, we help make our community better and safer, one life at a time.
2. Background of the organization: Briefly describe when the organization was started, number of members and any other helpful information.
We began as the chaplaincy office of the Muscogee County Jail in October of 2009. We determined that meeting the spiritual needs of the inmates wasn’t enough to ensure their success upon release and began developing a re-entry program to assist inmates to successfully transition back into the community. The program was chaired by the Chaplain of the Muscogee County Jail at the direction of the Sheriff, and was initially an effort to involve the faith community in assisting inmates as they reentered the community, reducing their return rate. Area churches led the effort to form the Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. This corporation began raising money and identifying resources necessary to assist ex-offenders. We operate a comprehensive Re-Entry program including G.E.D. classes and testing, literacy tutoring, drug and alcohol programming and several specialized dorms designed to prepare inmates to successfully transition out of jail. November 1, 2010, we opened the SafeHouse across the street from the Muscogee County Jail. This is a resource center to assist transitioning ex-offenders. Our mission expanded to include recovering people and homeless men and women. We quickly recognized a serious lack of transitional housing available and in November of 2011 we opened Trinity House, a 24 bed facility for disadvantaged women and children. We opened Grace House, a 48 bed transitional facility for disadvantaged men in December of 2014, modeled after our successful Trinity House. Ministry growth caused us to move the SafeHouse into Rose Hill Methodist church in February of 2014 to expand our service capability.
3. Project description and objectives: Clearly state the project and objectives.
Within the jail we have a 20 bed men's dorm and 14 beds in the women's program dorm set aside for GED inmates. Instructors provide 12 hours of GED instruction each week in each dorm. South Georgia Technical College provides supervised testing monthly in our 10 computer testing lab. We average 90% of the beds used during the year for an inmate population of over 120 per year. Our goal is to test half of our inmates, estimating that half of those (30) will earn their GED. To accomplish this, paid instructors and volunteer tutors work with the inmates. Strengths and weaknesses are identified; inmates are encouraged to share their strengths with fellow inmates. Our tutors focus on the weaknesses in one-on-one tutoring sessions. Additionally, we take laptops in the dorms to provide computer basic training and keyboard practice. We provide educational materials and workbooks for the inmates to study in the dorms, and homework is given nightly.
These are behavior based dorms and inmates maintain the right to be in the dorm by being respectful of themselves, each other, the facility, jail staff and program staff/volunteers. In order to apply for any programs in the jail an inmate must sign a Behavior contract acknowledging that a clean behavior record is required to be considered for a program and participate in any jail classes or dorms. Behavior and respect of others is not just obeying rules, but is a life style choice that we encourage. Being a good citizen, respecting others and participating as a member of a community helps build self-worth and affords options to the street mentality of aggression and selfishness. This coupled with life skills classes and weekly house meetings encourage community participation and life style options that aid in adjusting to a life free of crime and breaks the cycle of incarceration. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for men and women to not come back to jail. To be successful we believe that our participants should have a 50% less recidivism rate than general population. Our goal is an overall recidivism rate of 35% or less.
Additionally, we provide the paperwork and counseling for our inmates to take advantage of Federal and state programs designed to assist them finding employment upon release. The US Dept of Justice provides a free $5000 employment bond for any ex-felon in America looking for work and the State of Georgia will give any Georgia employer that hires an ex-felon up to $2400 back on their state taxes. These are provided to give our inmates all the tools to be successful in their transition.
4. Target group: Identify target groups for the project and how they will be selected.
The target group for this project is inmates who have enrolled in the Re-Entry program and have passed the TABE test (pre test). Our focus is on inmates that will be released back into our community. Inmates that will be going to prison from the jail will be able to take their G.E.D. classes and tests in the state prison they are assigned.
5. Expected outcome: List and explain the expected outcome of the project or program.
It is anticipated that 120 inmates will enroll and attempt the program with 30 of them successfully passing the GED exam. The primary purpose of this project is to ultimately reduce the recidivism rates. Lack of housing, unemployment and addiction all work to create circumstances that work against the inmate once he or she is released from the jail. Lack of a high school diploma and the lack of a job combine to keep the offender on the fringe. The GED program will give the offender a step up the ladder to successful re entry into society. By giving the offender the tools necessary to ensure a more successful life, the ex offender will now have more options than the commission of additional crimes upon release.
6. Success: How will you assess the success of your program?
We track every participant in the G.E.D. program. Whether they tested, passed or just participated in class. We know if they return to jail or not and maintain these records. To date, our students have attained a 50% less return rate than those in general population.
7. Participants: Are the participants required to do anything specific, (for example, attend religious services/training or pay a fee), to participate? If so, describe.
There is an optional religious component that is available to the inmate and ex offender but it is not required. There are no fees charged to participants in the GED program.
8. Significance: Why is your program significant to the community?
Reducing crime—especially by ex offenders—makes our community safer and more vibrant. The GED program gives offenders and ex offenders more opportunities to create worthwhile lives and decrease up to 140 felonies per offender (U.S. DOJ study 2002). Giving offenders more opportunities gives our community more opportunities. A productive, active member of the community, who can contribute to his or her own personal growth, puts less of a burden on his or her home, neighborhood and City.
9. Administered: How will your project be administered? How is your organization qualified and/or qualified to carry out this project?
The GED Program has a program director on staff (resume attached). Paid instructors (resumes attached) and trained volunteers assist program staff. Qualified tutors will provide educational assistance to enrolled participants and staff from The Technical College System of Georgia comes on site to administer the GED tests.
10. References: Please include any reference letters or documents that you feel would support your application for the grant.
Copies of support letters and references are included with this application.
Include one original signed copy of the application and all supplementary materials. In addition include ten photocopies of the application and supplementary material. Staple each copy packet together.
IRS letter certifying tax-exempt status, (exempt if a government agency of the CCG)
Name and qualifications of people administering and/or participating in the project
Board list, showing officers, professional titles and telephone numbers
Annual Report if available
Letters of agreement from collaborating organizations
Any other desired support material
All organizations receiving Columbus Funds will be required:
To provide background checks at the expense of the applicant for those in contact with juveniles.
Provide reports on the progress of the program after 3 months, 6 months and program’s end. The only exception to this will be if the program is seasonal and then a schedule will be worked out to determine effectiveness of the program.
By signing this application, we understand and agree to the terms included on the application and certify that the information in the application is true and accurate and that the undersigned is authorized to apply on behalf of the applicant.
Signed by Neil Richardson________________________________ March 20, 2015
Signature of Authorizing Official Date
Name and Title of Authorizing Official (print/type) Rev. Neil Richardson, Executive Director
Daytime Telephone (706 575-1483)
Signed by Roy Plummer_________________________________ March 20, 2015
Signature of Board President/Chair Date
Name and Title of Board President/Chair (print/type) Rev. Roy Plummer, President
Daytime Telephone (706) 570-7171
Name and qualifications of people administering and/or participating in the project.
Neil Richardson, Executive Director Responsible for overall Supervision
Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc of the G.E.D. program. Resume attached
Katherine Lyons, Lead Instructor Coordinator of the G.E.D. program. Resume attached
Ann Lincoln Curtis Female Instructor. Resume attached
Anthony Pritchett Male Instructor. Resume attached
Anthony Paul Chappell Male Instructor. Resume attached