The Georgia Department of Corrections implemented the Faith and Character Based Initiative in 2004 to provide the state of Georgia, Department of Corrections, and its citizens with a model for positive change by allowing offenders to strengthen their mind, body and spirit in an environment that promotes positive change.
The Faith and Character Based Initiative enhances public safety through community partnerships that will support the offender's successful transition from custody to community. Georgia’s Faith and Character Based programs have been show to have a treatment effect of 10; meaning someone is 10 times less likely to return to prison after completing a Faith and Character Based program.
The program consists of a Faith and Character Based Prison in Walker County and Faith and Character Based dorm programs throughout the state. The program operates on a holistic approach, secular in nature, which involves our stakeholders and community volunteers in the process of the offenders learning to change their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
Our objective is to provide an atmosphere for offenders to develop interpersonal communication skills, understand diversity and participate in the rehabilitative process, by providing an environment for positive change through the promotion of personal accountability and responsibility, integrity, and the building of one's faith and character. Our vision is that coordinated community partnerships will enhance existing risk interventions and services; that participants will present fewer management problems as a result of involvement; that the program will increase awareness of the reentry needs of offenders; and that recidivism will be reduced due to the offender's ability to set positive, attainable goals for themselves and then to think and act in a responsible manner in the pursuit of those goals.
The Faith and Character Based Initiative consists of personal and spiritual growth and development under the supervision of a trained program coordinator. Participants are divided in to four phases, which follow a 12-month curriculum (for the dorms) and a 24-month curriculum for the prison for successful completion and graduation.