Felons who participate in the Savannah Impact Program's Work Ventures initiative learn skills to get a job.
There are 100 participants of the Savannah Impact Program's Work Ventures program. The Savannah Impact Program, which began in 2001, uses resources from Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, Chatham County Adult Education, State Board of Pardons and Parole, and the Georgia Dept. of Corrections, Juvenile Justice and Labor to keep felons away from crime to lead a productive life, according to SCMPD.
Felons work to gain and demonstrate qualities employers look for such dependability, honesty and customer service.
Of the estimated 600 adult and juvenile justice violators who participate in the SIP program, 87 percent avoid recidivism, according to SCMPD.
"SIP's mission is to steer former offenders from criminal activity to productive work," said Police Chief Willie Lovett, who helped form the program, in a statement. "Most returning felons quickly become recidivists because they know nothing else or have no place to turn. SIP's record of addressing those issues is impressive. It is one of the most important programs this department – or this area – has."
One example is SIP's Mobile Car Wash. Crews worked Friday morning to wash and detail a fleet of police cars at SCMPD's West Chatham Precinct and vehicles in other locations. Each car was vacuumed, washed and deodorized in the same way a professional car cleaning service would do the job.
The Mobile Car Wash is one example of the opportunities funded by SCMPD. Other SIP's Work Ventures training includes Building Maintenance, Graffiti Removal and Landscaping.
SIP participants are required to follow all laws and requirements of their release and submit to random drug testing.