“Change is really hard, even under the best circumstances. People leaving prison attempt to change their whole lives with the cards stacked against them.”
So writes Turning Leaf Founder and Executive Director Amy Barch in an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) on July 7, 2021. The article, A Better Way to Keep People from Going Back to Prison, takes a look at what works at Turning Leaf and other re-entry organizations around the country with particular focus on the different ways Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is incorporated into the most successful programs.
While this is Barch’s first professional publication, it is by no means the first time she’s written about the challenges of re-entry. Since entering the field of prison reform in her early 20s, she’s spent countless hours researching and writing about the topic. The bespoke curriculum at Turning Leaf, which uses 25 life skills like “Setting Boundaries” and “Asking for Help,” was created by Barch. She has also written extensively about the early successes (and failures) of Turning Leaf at her blog.
“It’s an honor to be published,” says Barch. “It’s a validation of all the hard work we’ve done at Turning Leaf. When you launch a nonprofit with a clinical component, you have to be willing to change and grow. We’ve done that, and now that we’re putting in the work to prove our program is able to replicate and scale, it’s wonderful to have our accomplishments acknowledged by a journal like SSIR.”