Turning Leaf is raising the stakes, and its profile, in recidivism (Post & Courier)

An audience at the Mount Pleasant library listens silently as three men calmly talk about violence, the crimes they’ve committed, the drugs they’ve sold — and the reason they quit.

She’s sitting in the front row.

The men are students of Amy Barch’s Turning Leaf Project, a local nonprofit working to quell the epidemic of recidivism. And the program appears to be a rousing success.

That is not hyperbole, just math. Nationally, 67 percent of people released from prison will be re-arrested for another crime within three years.

In the past two years, the rate for Turning Leaf graduates is 19 percent.

That’s an amazing statistic and, as a result, Barch has a growing national reputation in the field of cognitive behavioral therapy. Other cities and states send emissaries to study her work and hire Turning Leaf to consult on their own recidivism projects.

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