Reentry & Cognitive Programming Information

For profiles of the inmates within our Reentry and Cognitive Programming, which include statistics on demographic, correctional, educational, psychological, physical, criminal history, and medical information, check out our profile of inmates at transitional centers.

After serving time within the state's prisons, selected offenders are slowly reintegrated back into society with a job and enhanced prospects for stability through placement within one of the state's Transitional Centers. Research has shown that offenders who have the opportunity to reenter the community after a stay in Reentry and Cognitive Programming are up to 1/3 more likely to succeed in maintaining a crime-free life.

There are 12 Reentry and Cognitive Programming Centers in operation statewide, two of which are designated to house female offenders. A total of 2,344 transitional beds are available, of which 346 are designated for female offenders. To have the opportunity to transfer to Reentry and Cognitive Programming, an offender must receive a referral from either the Board of Pardons of Paroles or the Classification Committee within a state prison. The decision about which offenders are selected is based on criminal history, behavior while incarcerated, release date, and a number of other factors.

One function of Reentry and Cognitive Programming is to provide "work release", allowing the offender to obtain and maintain a paying job in the community while requiring him or her to conform to the structure of the program. The offender lives in the center, participates in a number of programs, and completes assignments to contribute to the upkeep of the center. The wages earned by work release offenders are sent directly to the center.

Employers are required to deduct taxes as appropriate. A portion of the wages is applied to room and board and another portion to any outstanding fines or fees. If the offender has minor children, he or she is required to provide family support for them. The offender may have a small allowance for transportation and incidentals, but all other funds are placed in an account until he or she is released from the center. Most offenders stay in a work release program for approximately six months and are then released on parole. Those who are not eligible for parole will be released when the entirety of their sentence has been fulfilled.

Reentry and Cognitive Programming also provide housing for low risk maintenance workers. These residents are not participants in the work release program although they may have access to the other programs in the centers. The maintenance residents are assigned full-time to maintain the facility or other state facilities in the area. For example, approximately half of the residents assigned to the Atlanta Transitional Center are maintenance workers who provide details to the Governor's Mansion, the State Capitol Complex, and the State Highway Patrol Headquarters. These residents are not paid any wages. They may stay at the facility for longer periods of time than work release residents.

The daily cost to house an offender in a Reentry and Cognitive Programming is off-set by the offender's contribution to their room and board provided by the state. In addition, offenders on work release contribute to the local tax base and to their families' support.