Summer in the South can be intense. While the heat is great for a day at the beach, it can meltdown a family reunion, company picnic, or team sporting event. Don’t ruin a good time by choosing the wrong t-shirt fabric for your group’s custom-printed shirts. Let us help make your outdoor event a success. We offer a variety of breathable tees and tanks that will keep your group feeling comfortable and looking stylish in shirts branded with your logo or design.
Heathered tees are a good starting place; the polyester-blend bits that give it the signature “heathered” look also lighten up the cotton and keep you cooler. Tri-blend tees mix cotton, polyester, and other fabrics like rayon to create a super-lightweight, moisture-wicking shirt that comes in a variety of cuts and styles. For your outdoors work or your summer sports league, your best bet is a full polyester. The lightweight, shiny fabric wicks away your sweat and enhances airflow for your most comfortable summer t-shirt.
We offer tanks, too, in a number of styles and cuts. From sporty racerbacks for the athletes in your life to flowy, lightweight tanks that look stylish in the office or on a late-night walk on the beach, we have it all.
With so many options, it can be hard to know exactly what fabric best meets your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Send us some basic information by asking for a quote below and you’ll get expert advice through every step of the ordering process.
Feeling comfortable outdoors in the summer heat starts with wearing the right clothes. You can’t control the weather, but you can control the style and fabric of your branded tanks and tees to ensure a summer event that everyone can enjoy.
Well, friends. You spoke and we listened. You love supporting Turning Leaf’s mission of helping men succeed after prison. But you also want the convenience of ordering all your printed materials from a single vendor. Now we can do it all. We’ve expanded our product lines to become the one-stop-shop for all your printing needs.
Need hats for your restaurant staff?
Need individual numbers or names for your jerseys?
Need embroidery on half your shirts and screen printing on the others?
Need tumblers, wine glasses, journals, patches, blankets, or towels?
We’ve got you covered. Support a local nonprofit, give a job to someone returning home from prison, and avoid the hassle of ordering your merch from different places. Click here to get a quote for all your branded products.
That’s how I feel about our vision for replicating small
Turning Leaf centers across South Carolina.
But it wasn’t a clear-cut decision. In fact, I soul searched
for much of last year to land here. See, going into 2019 we had another plan to
scale. That strategy involved growing our Charleston site into a large reentry
center, enrolling 150 men a year. I’d always had a vision of running a large
reentry center. A two-story building, multiple classrooms, a state-of-the-art
training and conference room. The hustle and bustle of the day. That’s a vision
I’d been working towards for years.
Nearing the end of 2018, we started making moves to make
that dream a reality. I hired two new staff. Adam came on board to handle job
placement and screen-printing sales. Blue joined us as a recruiter to get more
men in the door. We were right on track heading into 2019. The only thing left
to do was ramp up enrollment. Blue recruited and we waited. He recruited some
more and we waited some more. But the spike in phone calls and assessments and
first days in the classroom never came. Sure, we saw new faces, but it became
pretty clear pretty fast that we weren’t going to come anywhere close to
hitting enrollment numbers needed to grow into a large reentry organization
without compromising our program model. Damn.
My dream of that large reentry center started fading away.
I took the spring and summer of 2019 to re-evaluate the
future of Turning Leaf. It was a critical decision, and I didn’t know which way
to go. Lack of clarity is not a good look for me. My brain operates best in
execution mode, with a clear vision and an actionable plan. Instead, I drifted
through part of last year, trying to reconcile my vision of the large reentry
center with the reality that Charleston doesn’t have a dense enough population
of men returning home from prison to make it a reality. It was a difficult time
Conversations and meditation, dream boards and letters to
myself, back of the napkin diagrams and pen to paper goal setting ultimately
led me to two choices. The first option was that we grow our Charleston
location into a training center for other organizations doing reentry work
around the state and country. We would still work with a small group of men coming
home from prison, but organizational growth would be focused on training in our
cognitive behavioral curriculum and best practices in how to deliver effective
reentry services. I liked the idea. It spoke to my interests and my strengths.
I love to create and to train. I love to
test new content and share it with others. I love the idea of elevating the
quality of reentry services across the country. It fit with my vision of
running a large center. I was leaning hard in this direction. It sounded fun
and rewarding and…well…easy.
Or…we could replicate small Turning Leaf reentry centers
around South Carolina. We could create a statewide network of reentry. Men
coming home from prison all over the state would have the option to get help
after their release. And because we’d be enrolling a lot more men, we could
evaluate the program. Really evaluate it. And then, we could take the
model nationally. We’d have a chance to become the first McDonald’s of prison
reentry. People coming home from prison in every state across the country could
benefit from what we’re doing here in Charleston. We could leave a legacy. We
could be a game changer. But it would be a lot more work, and a lot less fun.
Just straight up grinding and raising money and selling the program the hard
way. It didn’t speak to my interests or my strengths. Operations, fundraising,
managing people and money. Grant reporting and board meetings and budgets. Ugh.
And an evaluation means truly knowing if the program works. Most social service
agencies spend their entire lifetime only believing that they’re making an
impact, but never really knowing. Knowing is a scary and vulnerable place to
be. This was the riskier and harder option.
One of the things we teach our Turning Leaf students is to
make life decisions not based on what feels good today, but on where you want
to go in the future. We help our men understand that reaching long-term goals
always requires the sacrifice of immediate gratification. Creating. Training.
Fun. Easy. Operations. Fundraising. Risky. Difficult. Where do I want to end
up? What do I want to leave behind? Which choice leaves me with no regrets?
This was my soul searching of last year. Nobody would have judged me for going
with option #1. Nobody would have seen this as my easy way out. But I would
Instead I took my desire to create and train and put it on a
shelf. I took my desire to work with other reentry groups across the country
and stored it away. Not forever, just for now. I made the decision to replicate
across the state. I doubled down on Turning Leaf. I doubled down on what I know
is already the best reentry organization in the country. We’re small, but we’re
the best. That means we’re the best chance this country has right now to reform
our approach to prison reentry programming. That’s a privilege and a
responsibility I take very, very seriously.
The coolest thing happened after I fully committed to option
#2. The vision of my large reentry center reconciled. Our Charleston site will
be a large center one day. But it won’t be large because we’re going to enroll
a lot of men coming home from prison. And it won’t be large because we’re going
to be training other groups across the country in our curriculum and best
practices. It’s going to be large because it will be our home base and training
center for all the other Turning Leaf sites around the state and country. The
puzzle piece in my mind finally locked into place.
When I first started working on Turning Leaf in 2012, I
remember thinking all the time, “I just want the opportunity.” I wanted the
opportunity to see if I could start the project. To see if I could make it
successful. To prove that we could do better to help people coming out of
prison. I didn’t even care if I failed. I just wanted to be given the chance to
make the vision in my head a reality. After a few years of funding and support,
the thought eventually faded away. I had been given the opportunity and I made
the most of it. There is literally not a single day I walk into Turning Leaf
that I don’t feel incredibly lucky and grateful.
But that thought has now come back top of mind. I find
myself driving down the road, or looking out the window or cooking dinner, and
thinking, “I just want the opportunity.” I want the opportunity to prove that
we can replicate this project in a new city with the same outcomes. That I can
find another staff who is as good as this one. That we can create the first
McDonald’s of reentry. I don’t even care if I fail. I just want the
Having the opportunity requires that I raise money. I’m
making calls to our state legislators and driving to Columbia and sending
emails to our political leaders pleading the case for funding a Turning Leaf
statewide replication. I’m arguing for state fiscal responsibility. For
choosing Turning Leaf as the bargain option over the cost of prison and the
cost of crime. It’s hard for me to cold call and cold email and directly ask
our political leaders for state money and support. But it’s not about me. It
may work and it may not, but it won’t be because I didn’t ask.
As the first month of the new year ends, I remind myself,
“the days are long, but the years are short.” So true. I’m making the most of
my days over here at Turning Leaf and I hope you are too. I’ll stay in touch as
we make progress, face new challenges, find partners, change plans, and dig
To an untrained eye, it’s easy to think that Turning Leaf is
just like any other reentry organization. But we’re not. Okay, you might be
thinking, “Sure, every nonprofit thinks they’re special.” That’s probably true,
but seriously, we really are. I can prove it.
I officially started out my career in reentry as a case
manager for a nonprofit in the DC area. People came in when they were released
from the county jail and my job was to help them. First step was always an
assessment. Across from a desk, I asked questions and jotted notes to determine
the person’s current needs. Did they have a place to live? A job? A way to get
around? Friends or family who could help? At the end, I had a checklist of
things I could offer the person. Mental health referral, check. List of
homeless shelters, check. A bus voucher, check. $10 gift card to McDonalds,
check. A backpack full of clothes, check. A list of “felon-friendly” employers,
check. My job was done. That’s what success looked like to the average reentry
organization back in 2006, and for the most part, still does today.
“Good luck,” I’d call out, and they’d be gone, sometimes to
resurface looking for additional help during a crisis, but mostly when they
were next released from jail. And so it went. I did that job for three years.
Watching people cycling in and out was exhausting. There had to be a better
way, didn’t there?
That was fourteen years ago and, as a country, we’re still
looking for the better way. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve made a ton of progress in
understanding what works to reduce recidivism. We’ve just done a terrible job
in applying it. Old habits die hard, I guess.
See, most organizations still approach prison reentry
through a charity lens. That’s our nonprofit roots, so it make sense. People
leaving prison lack basic needs, so we assume if we can fill these needs, then
they’ll be all set. We check off the boxes of the needs they have that we
understand and can fill. “Good luck” we still call out the door as they leave
with an arm full of referrals and bus tokens and clothes.
Okay I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t having
transportation, and clothes to wear and a job important? Of course they’re
important, but they’re not nearly enough. They’re just the beginning if we
really want to help someone who’s in and out of prison stay out for good.
Hear me out here. If a job was going to be the pivotal
factor for a person after prison, why didn’t it keep them out before they went
in? Most people worked before they were arrested or were working when they were
arrested. And while we have a hopscotch of research out there that’s confusing
as hell to sift through, the bulk of it supports my position that jobs programs
don’t work, basic needs programs don’t work, and housing programs don’t work to
reduce recidivism. Yes, they’re important services, but they by themselves
haven’t proven to impact long-term behavior. (Yes, Turning Leaf is a jobs
program, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)
So, what does work then? Here’s where your eyes might start
to glaze over a little. But stay with me because this is the heart of the
The concept of evidence-based practice in the field of reentry
describes the practices that have been proven by the most rigorous research to
significantly reduce recidivism. Several basic principles make up the key
components of reentry programs that are associated with recidivism reduction.
Basically, if programs incorporate these key components into their program
design, and execute well, they are likely reducing recidivism, if they don’t –
then the program is likely making no impact, or worse, doing harm (it’s actually
pretty easy to increase recidivism. I know from personal experience.) There’s a
lot of similarity here to the medical field. Health care professionals use the
best available medical research to guide patient care decisions. If they don’t
base their decisions on what the research says works to best diagnose and keep
people healthy, then they could make a person sick.
The model that encompasses the evidence-based principles in
reentry is known as Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR). Today the RNR model is the
only scientifically proven framework to help people change criminal behavior. Specifically,
the three key principles answer the questions of “who” to target, “what” to
target, and “how” to target in reentry programming if reducing recidivism is
Okay, I know that was a lot to digest so let me wrap it up.
In a nutshell, Turning Leaf is special because we incorporate and
execute on all the key principles that have been proven in research to reduce
recidivism. This is no easy task. In fact, I don’t know of another reentry
organization who can say the same thing. We’ve cracked the code on how to apply
these principles in a real-world setting at a consistently high quality. On our
face we might look like any other reentry program, but underneath, there’s
nothing like us.
Here’s what being an evidence-based reentry program looks like.
We use a risk assessment to ensure we’re only working with people
who are likely to be re-arrested. We use the results of that assessment to
drive our interventions, focusing on the factors that science proves are
related to re-offending. These factors are things like criminal thinking
patterns, lack of problem solving skills, and difficulty in managing difficult
feelings, like anger and frustration. And we do a ton of work highly targeted
on these factors in our group therapy classes and individual counseling
sessions. 150 hours of group therapy in four months is a lot of therapy. My
guess is that it’s more hours than any other organization in the country has
figured out how to pull off.
We help with stability issues like identification and
transportation, accessing medical care and finding housing and employment. But
those stability services are not the thing that impacts long-term
behavior change. Instead, we wrap that kind of help around our intense therapy
classes, so that a person has (probably for the first time ever) the space,
time and opportunity to learn how to think and act differently. And someone
can’t learn how to think and act differently unless they’re taught how, in
highly specific ways (our group therapy classes), shown how (staff models the
new behavior for them) and over a long enough period of time for it to stick
(four months, M-F, 9am-5pm).
All our students are hired on day one to work in our
screen-printing business. But it’s not really about a job. It’s about
stability. It’s about giving someone the time and space to learn how to change.
People go to social services agencies looking for help and are
ping-ponged around in the name of “referrals” and “collaboration.” Go here for
this and here for that. At Turning Leaf, we take the opposite approach. I always
joke that we should put a mat outside our front door that says, “Welcome Home.”
(The guys said this would be weird, so I haven’t done it – yet.)
So now you know how we’re special.
When people ask what I do for a living, a common response
is, “Oh cool, yeah, I have a friend who does kind of the same thing.” Nope.
They don’t. And now you know why.
 Polaschek, Devon
(2012). An appraisal of the
risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model of offender rehabilitation and its
application in correctional treatment. Legal and Criminological Psychology,