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Greenville Tech partners with Phillis Wheatley center on re-entry program

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Greenville Technical College and the Phillis Wheatley Community Center are collaborating to create the Upstate Ex-Offender Re-entry Center.

The center, housed at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center, is designed to provide case management activities to remove barriers for people who are transitioning from the criminal justice system to productive lives in the community, according to a news release from Greenville Tech.

Greenville County is one of the top five counties in the state for inmate incarceration, according to the news release, with one-fourth of those inmates diagnosed with some level of mental illnesses. The S.C. Department of Corrections currently releases an average of 705 inmates per month with a recidivism rate of 27.5%, the release said.

The re-entry center will be staffed by a director of re-entry and a case manager who will work with other agencies in the community, the release said. Evaluation and case management services will help participants follow a course of action and determine what is needed to overcome barriers.

Re-entry education will enable participants to overcome criminal backgrounds, learn skills that can enhance career readiness, gain conflict resolution and anger management knowledge, and prepare to enter Greenville Technical College’s Quick Jobs program, which provides job skills, the release said.

“Our mission is to transform lives through education,” Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College, said in the release. “By joining with Phillis Wheatley, we can remove barriers that stand in the way of that life-changing transformation for people who are leaving prison behind and hoping to contribute to society in a positive way.”

"The Phillis Wheatley Community Center has been a positive presence in the Nicholtown community and the entire Upstate for the past 100 years,” Randy Jackson, executive director of the Phillis Wheatley Community Center, said in the release. “The collaboration between Greenville Technical College and PWCC, for the Ex-Offenders Re-Entry Program, further enhances the impact of our collaborative service delivery model.”

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