Agenda Item # ___

Columbus Consolidated Government

Council Meeting


Agenda Report # ____

TO: Mayor and Council

SUBJECT: Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc.

INITIATED BY: Columbus Office of Crime Prevention

Recommendation: Approval is requested to enter into a one-year contract with Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. to award funding for Crime Prevention initiatives.

Background: Columbus Office of Crime Prevention has agreed to recommend the funding of $38,000.00 to Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. effort to educate and prepare inmates for graduation of the GED program.

Analysis: Funds will be used to pay for quality programming as well as mentoring for inmates within the Muscogee County Jail.

Financial Considerations: These funds are appropriated from the Other Local Option Sales Tax, Crime Prevention Program and do not require a match.

Recommendations/ Actions: Approve the resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a one-year contract with Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. to provide funding for quality programming as well as mentoring for inmates within the Muscogee County Jail.


NO. _____


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.


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.


Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia, held the 23rd day of June, 2015 and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of ____________ members of said Council.

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_____________.

__________________________________ ______________________________________


Local Assistance Grant Agreement

Grant Program Name: Columbus Office of Crime Prevention

Fiscal Agent: Muscogee County

Administering Agency: Columbus Office of Crime Prevention

Grant Recipient: Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc.

Amount: $38,000.00

Budget: Personnel – $20,000.00
Professional Fees - $16,000.00
Supplies - $2,000.00
Total - $38,000.00

Program Contact Information

Name: Neil Richardson Title: Director

Address: 2305 15th St. #3, Columbus, Georgia 31906

Phone #: 706-575-1483

Project Description

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:

      1. The above named Grant Recipient represents the beneficiaries of the Grant and the above named individual is authorized to act in the name of Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, Inc. as the Grant Recipient.
      2. The subject matter of this Agreement is primarily the provision of services in the form of individualized tutoring and teaching to help inmates receive their GED.
      3. The Grant Recipient shall immediately notify the Agency if any of their service providers are arrested. At the time Grant Recipient learns that one of its service providers has been arrested, then Grant Recipient shall cease to use such service provider in connection with programs funded by this Grant.

      4. In the initial report submitted to the Administering Agency, Grant Recipient shall provide: (a) the name of the chairman and the secretary of the advisory committee; (b) the times and dates that the Grant programs are available – essentially a schedule of services; (c) the number of participants in the program; (d) Description of the process used to identify individuals for which services will be provided; (e) provide specifics on the evaluation process that addresses how the process will work, how the statistical data will be gathered, how it will be analyzed.
      5. Grant Recipient shall provide an accounting system that shall separate Grant Funds from other funds. The accounting system shall also separate Grant related expenses from other expenses.

      6. Grant Recipient shall submit to Agency a monthly report on the progress of the programs. The monthly report shall provide statistical data that supports the projects goals of reducing the recidivism rates of the participants within the program.

      7. Grant Recipient shall use Grant Funds strictly for the purposes outlined in the Grant. Any changes to the programs must be submitted in writing to Columbus Office of Crime Prevention for approval or the funding may be jeopardized.

        8. Grant Recipient shall identify the members of its Board of Directors which will assume liability if the CCG determines the funds have been misused.
        9. Monthly report must be submitted to Seth Brown electronically by the 10th day of the month. Once the report is approved it will be submitted to the Office of Crime Prevention Board for evaluation.

        10. The Grant Recipient shall use generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) to account for all financial transactions used to substantiate the fulfillment of this Grant.
        11. The Grant Recipient shall maintain all records of Grant-related financial transactions for a minimum of three years after the completion of the Grant and to make all records available for inspection and fully cooperate with any audit or investigation requested or undertaken by the CCG, the State Auditor, the Internal Auditor for Columbus, Georgia, or any other officials of the state or federal government who have the authority to conduct audits.
        12. The Grant Recipient shall comply at all times with the provisions of Article I, Section II, and Paragraph VII of the Georgia Constitution regarding the prohibition against Sectarian Aid.
        13. The Grant Recipient hereby releases Columbus, Georgia from any liability whatsoever and Grant Recipient hereby agrees to indemnify Columbus, Georgia against any and all claims for damages, bodily injury or death arising from any of the activities contemplated by this Agreement raised by any person. Grant Recipient shall provide to Columbus, Georgia a certificate of insurance that shows general liability coverage in the amount of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence and which shows that Columbus, Georgia is named as an additional insured.

        14. All services must be provided by properly certified or licensed personal.
        15. In the event there is any discrepancy in the language of the project description and these numbered paragraphs, the language in the numbered paragraphs shall control.

        Signature of City Manager, Isaiah Hugley Date

        Approved as to form by City Attorney Date

        Signature of Director of Finance, Pam Hodge Date

        Signature of Grant Recipient Representative, Neil Richardson Date
    Application for Columbus Office of Crime Prevention Grant

    B. Project
    Project period (full life of project) The project is ongoing and the budget is an annual budget presented to and approved by the Board.

    Where, specifically, will it occur? 700 10th Street, Columbus, GA 31901

    Approximately how many people will benefit from the project? It is anticipated that 120 inmates will participate in the GED program in a year. 60 people test in a year. Of that at least 30 will earn their G.E.D.

    How did you arrive at the above numbers? The Muscogee County Jail provides one 20 man dorm for male G.E.D. programming and 10 beds in the female Program Dorm. We pre-test inmates and work with those advanced enough to be able to test while incarcerated. Average turnover within the dorms is four times a year; 30 beds equal 120 students per year. We expect that half the inmates enrolled will be ready to take the test or 60 men/women. We have consistently averaged over 50% of those testing or 30 will earn their G.E.D.

    When will funds be needed? This program is currently operational and funds would be needed within the next quarter.

    Grant amount requested (must be no more than 90% of total project expense) $37,700.00
    We are asking for less money this year because we have secured additional sources of revenue and have been successful lowering our expenses.

    Total project revenue and support (from line 3, pg. 6) $45,700.00

    Total project expenses (from line 13, pg. 7) $

    C. Project Budget
    Project Revenue and Support
    1. Revenue
    Admission/Ticket income
    Other Revenue

    2. Support (indicate with * if already committed)
    Corporate support
    Other private support $8,000.00
    Government support (COCP Grant) $37,700.00
    Other County agency
    Organizations cash applied to project

    Project expenses
    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

    5. Consultants and professional fees
    G.E.D. testing is provided through the Technical College System of Georgia under the direction of the State of Georgia G.E.D. Program Office. We were able to renegotiate our testing agreement since we provide much of the clerical support and lowered our annual testing fees by 5,700.00 per year.

    Subtotal, Consultants and professional fees $16,300.00

    Supplies and equipment Educational materials $3,000.00
    We were able to get over half of our annual educational materials donated lowering our annual cost by 3,504.00

    Office Supplies 0
    We have secured donors for all our office supply needs

    Equipment 0
    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
    7. Travel (Itemize) 0

    Subtotal, Travel

    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

    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