District Attorney Programs
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What is RED?
Rehabilitation Enables Dreams has partnered with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office to offer a 12-month Pre-Adjudication Restorative Justice Program. RED is a Georgia domestic 501(c)3 nonprofit restorative justice organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that is dedicated to keeping non-violent offenders out of the criminal justice system permanently. This is accomplished through programming that enhances the social, civic, financial, and digital literacy of individuals referred to court.
Our staff works alongside County officials to select program participants from a randomized pool of eligible individuals. Eligibility guidelines include:
- 17- to 28-year-old males and females
- Nonviolent first-time felony offenses
- Maximum of six cycles of crime
- Residing within a 60-mile radius of the jurisdiction where classes are administered
After participants are selected, notices are sent out and program planning begins, starting with orientation. There are three non-negotiables that are agreed upon between RED and the District Attorney:
- There will be no cost to program participants.
- If there is an associated victim to a crime, victim consent must be established.
- All graduates must have their records restricted and their case files sealed.
RED’s evidence-based digital curriculum equips participants with the soft and hard skills necessary to leave the criminal justice system and reenter society as thriving members of their community.
Participants are given laptops at our program orientation that allows them access to our cloud-based digital curriculum. Peer forensic mentors are matched with program participants during month two and remain actively engaged through graduation. Our social, civic, and financial literacy modules include:
- Emotional intelligence training
- Proper police-citizen encounters
- Voting procedures education
- Financial planning
- Career readiness
Each month, program participants join a pro-community outing that is relevant to the subject matter. In addition to our digital curriculum, classroom sessions, pro-community events, and mentor support, all participants that do not have a high school diploma are enrolled into our GED Certification Program and are given access to immediate and long-term employment opportunities.
Data and Cost
The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government conducted a study on traditional adjudication methods and found that individuals prosecuted in the state of Georgia cost taxpayers over
$20,000per individual in post-sentencing costs. This figure does not reflect the taxpayer costs associated with conducting arrests or prosecuting individuals. The Georgia Department of Corrections also reports that 30 percent of adults ages 29 and older and 65 percent of youthful offenders ages 17 to 28 reoffend within three years of their release from a detention center.
RED creates a classroom atmosphere inside the courtroom, provides educational resources, mentoring, and meaningful community experiences. Upon graduating, our participant’s cases are dismissed, their Georgia Crime Information Center criminal cycles are restricted (expunged), and their case files sealed. Graduates are then referred to higher education institutions, vocational training programs with workforce placement, aftercare programs and/or the workforce. This process allows our participants to regain social mobility and become accountable, thriving citizens within our communities.
RED’s restorative justice program is more comprehensive than any of the accountability court programs the state of Georgia has installed in any of its 159 counties. This is because RED creates a classroom atmosphere inside the courtroom, provides educational resources, mentoring, and meaningful community experiences. Upon graduating, our participant’s cases are dismissed, their Georgia Crime Information Center criminal cycles are restricted (expunged), and their case files sealed. Graduates are then referred to higher education institutions, vocational training programs with workforce placement, aftercare programs, and/or the workforce.The cost per program participant averages at approximately $7,500 and the recidivism rate is less than 10 percent. Based on 135 program graduates as an example, RED would have saved taxpayers $1.69M, not including prosecutorial savings. In addition, RED generated an economic benefit to the state of Georgia of over $2.97M.