New program in Greenville works to help former prisoners reenter - FOX Carolina 21

New program in Greenville works to help former prisoners reenter society

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Books will be carried around in Greenville Police patrol vehicles (FOX Carolina) Books will be carried around in Greenville Police patrol vehicles (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A pilot program is taking off in the city of Greenville.  It involves former prisoners, who are looking to change their lives.  It's called Greenville Safe Neighborhoods.

The goal is to help repeat serious offenders stay out of jail, and reenter society in a healthy way.  The program is based on similar programs that have shown a lot of success around the country.

It’s a partnership between the Greenville Police Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, Solicitor's Office, the South Carolina probation office, as well as the non-profit organization New Mind Health and Care.     

They are all working with the former prisoners to give them resources for reentry.  And they believe, it will keep the community safer and keep the former prisoners from re-offending.

Master Patrolman Johnathan Bragg is with the Greenville Police Department.  “It's putting the violent offenders back into society and helping them fit in. And a lot of them are wanting to do it.  Like I said, these 8 people are volunteering to do it, it's nothing they’re made to do.”

Caroline Caldwell-Richmond is the founder of New Mind Health and Care, a nonprofit in Greenville that works help those impacted by the criminal justice system, and keep them from going back to prison.

“We want to teach people to think differently so they believe differently so they engage in different behaviors.”

Bragg said those who take part will have all the resources they need to stay on the right path.

“We've reached out to different community members and businesses that will offer their services free of charge.  We can get them counseling, if they need jobs we'll try to hook them up with labor finders or different businesses around here that are willing to hire previous felons or offenders.”

Officer Bragg tells us, if those taking part in the program do re-offend, they could end up facing even harsher penalties.

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