Greenville Technical College and Phillis Wheatley Community Center partner to help ex-offenders transition successfully

February 13, 2020

Greenville Technical College (GTC) and the Phillis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) are collaborating to create an Upstate Ex-Offender Re-entry Center. The center, housed at PWCC, will provide case management activities to remove barriers for citizens who are transitioning from the criminal justice system to productive lives within the community.

Greenville County is one of the top five counties in the state for inmate incarceration. One fourth of those inmates have diagnosed mental illnesses. The South Carolina Department of Corrections currently releases an average of 705 inmates per month with a recidivism rate of 27.5%.

The center will be staffed by a director of re-entry and a case manager who will work with other agencies located at PWCC to serve those in transition. Services will meet both immediate and longer-term needs. Evaluation and case management services will help participants follow the best course of action and determine what is needed to overcome barriers. Re-entry education will allow 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, usually in 90 days or less. Alcohol and substance abuse support groups will be available for those requiring this assistance.

“Our mission is to transform lives through education. 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,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “We look forward to seeing the difference this collaboration can make for those who participate and the community we share.”

“The Phillis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) has been a positive presence in the Nicholtown community and entire Upstate for the past 100 years. 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 which includes partner agencies such as Goodwill, Eckerd Connect, SHARE Head Start, Greenville Area Parkinson’s and Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism,” said Randy Jackson, executive director of the Phillis Wheatley Community Center. “These integrated services provide the tools and resources to help individuals become self-sufficient and achieve upward mobility, thereby changing lives, healing families and benefiting society as a whole.”