The Liberty County Re-entry Coalition welcomed visitors from the Georgia Department of Community Supervision Office Thursday.
DCS Assistant Commissioner Scott Maurer, Deputy Director of Re-entry Services Jay Sanders, Facility Regional Operations Coordinator Shawn Sikes and Director of Court/Board/Field Services Mike Kraft arrived at the coalition’s new office on East Court Street to tour it and learn about what the fledgling program is expecting to provide people recently released from prison.
LCRC Director Daisy Jones, Superior Court Judge Jay Stewart, DCS Atlanta Judicial Circuit Coordinating Chief Denise Hodges, Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette and state Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, greeted the visitors.
Lovette said the building has been improved.
“When they first came in, you would not want to be in here,” he said. “They’ve done a marvelous job. The coalition has taken the initiative to do this on its own thus far, and just imagine what we can do with a little help.”
After a tour of the building, the group gathered as Jones and Williams talked about launching the coalition over the past years and the organizations that have enabled the LCRC to be a one-stop resource for those trying to fit back into the community.
While the LCRC has yet to officially open its office, Jones said it has worked with a few clients. Some have gotten help getting driver’s licenses, finding temporary housing and securing employment.
Williams said LCRC could serve the entire Atlantic Judicial Circuit, which tqakes in Liberty, Long, Tattnall, Bryan and Evans counties. He added that more than 50 percent of area people released from prison will return to Liberty County.
The lawmaker stressed what the LCRC needed, at this point, is state funding.
He said he has asked for state funding to get the office operational and was hoping the visit would prove the LCRC was worthy of the investment.
Maurer said, “Of all the re-entry programs I’ve visited across the state, including some in the pilot program, this is the best and most prepared program I have seen so far.”
Office open house is Thursday
The Liberty County Re-entry Coalition's Public Servant Tour and open house is 5-6 p.m. Thursday. A volunteer recruitment and orientation will be at 6 p.m. Monday. Both are at the Re-entry Center, 205 E. Court St., Hinesville. Call 877-5293.