Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined the Department of Corrections, the Department of Watershed Management and the Georgia Department of Corrections to launch a new reentry program, Preparing Adult Offenders to Transition through Training and Therapy (PAT³). The program focuses on the reentry needs of incarcerated males with children by providing job training and employment opportunities with the city of Atlanta, according to a press release.
PAT3 is designed in a three-tiered process: state mandated vocational training, workforce development and employment. Upon completion of the vocational training phase, participants will become certified City employees in the Department of Watershed Management, which includes full health benefits. Earnings from this position will be saved in an account until the participants are officially released from the Atlanta City Detention Center– a state-recognized transitional center.
Program participants include detainees with 12 to18 months remaining in their respective sentences who are currently in the care and custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Atlanta City Detention Center. The goal of this program is to reduce recidivism by providing essential life skills including financial management, parenting classes, anger management, substance abuse prevention and workforce readiness. The reentry counseling and classes will be facilitated by Urban League Greater Atlanta.
Inmates from the Georgia Department of Corrections must meet strict requirements to participate in the program including but not limited to: male only; convicted in or return address to Fulton County, Georgia; minimum of 12 months remaining on sentence; medium or minimum security; GED/high school diploma preferable but not mandatory; no sex offenders; and no violent offenders.
Criminal justice reform has long been a key priority for Mayor Bottoms and was a centerpiece of her campaign. In February, Mayor Bottoms signed the Cash Bond Ordinance into law which eliminates cash bonds to secure release from the Atlanta Detention Center following an arrest for violation of city ordinances.
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