Charleston offenders offered another chance at freedom, with new prison alternative program (Live 5 News)

Amy Barch doesn’t just take chances, she gives them.

In 2011, Barch founded The Turning Leaf Project, a volunteer-led initiative focused on educating criminal offenders and preparing them for successful re-entry.

After years of success inside the walls of the Al Cannon Detention Center, The Turning Leaf project has now evolved to include a new pilot program, offering men sentenced to prison, a second chance at freedom.

To start, on June 18, Barch assumed responsibility for eleven men. Each was flagged by a public defender as a viable candidate for the program.

Following 11 weeks of rehabilitative training inside the county jail, all 11 were released to Barch for a near 20-week diversion program.

“I think a lot of those guys feel like this was their last chance, and it was an opportunity that was God sent,” she said.

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