Walker State Prison recently hosted an event celebrating five years as a Faith and Character (F&CB) Based facility. In 2011, Walker State Prison became the first and only F&CB prison in the state of Georgia. The facility was specifically redesigned to provide a pro-social, programmatic environment for change, and allow the participants to explore and choose alternatives to criminal thinking and behavior through emphasis on spiritual, moral and character development.
“Walker State Prison has a unique atmosphere because the entire facility is dedicated to the Faith & Character Based initiative,” said Commissioner Bryson. “Offenders look forward to participating in this voluntary program, and we have seen great success in those who graduate, as they go on to mentor future participants, further their education, or return to society.”
Inmates of any faith are encouraged to apply to the program. Offenders accepted into the program spend two years studying the following subjects: Motivation for Change, Moral Reconation Therapy, Thinking for a Change, Behavior Stabilization, Effective Communication, and the four-phase Faith and Character based concept (Foundation, Recovery, Transformation & Transition). Upon completion, offenders can become mentors to future participants.
Since it’s inception, there have been over 300 graduates. Currently, there are 415 offenders enrolled in the program, and 19 graduate mentors. The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is seeking to positively affect inmate behavior and reduce recidivism through this program, which focuses on accountability, responsibility, integrity, and faith.
The Georgia Department of Corrections has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.