The statewide organization Jumpstart, which focuses on prison re-entry, recently held its first Lunch and Learn at Crowne Plaza in Greenville to inform the community of its programs.
With nearly 200 in attendance, business and community leaders met to learn how Jumpstart assists current and former prisoners successfully re-enter society. Graduates of the program also spoke to attendees at the event.
The faith-based organization’s Inside Program prepares individuals in prison for life after incarceration. The 40-week program is used in 17 of South Carolina’s 22 prisons.
“Since our inception, 5,000 inmates have participated in the Jumpstart class and more than 2,100 have been released,” executive director Tommy Moore says. “Less than 4% have returned to prison.”
Those who successfully complete the program inside prison move into the one-year Outside Program after being released. The Outside Program offers 12 transitional houses in Spartanburg County and helps with employment, health care and transportation for former prisoners.
“We have 52 beds and at any given time we may have between 35 and 45 men and women in our transitional houses,” Moore says.
In South Carolina, 19,000 men and women are incarcerated and more than 800 are released per month, according to Moore. “The recidivism rate of Jumpstart, the 4%, saves the state of South Carolina over $7 million per year,” he says.
JUMPSTART partners with donors, churches and community members to transform the lives of broken people. To see these individuals successfully re-enter society is what motivates Moore to continue the mission of JUMPSTART.
“Some of these folks are what society has rejected, Moore says. “But, they’re still people. They have acknowledged their wrongdoing, they’ve served their sentences, and they’re trying to live a different life.”
Learn more at jumpstartvision.org.