Since 2019 we’ve had the dream of opening Turning Leaf reentry centers across South Carolina. We don’t have to tell you that nothing these last two years has been easy. Launching an expansion campaign during a global pandemic wasn’t in the plans. But we never wavered, and we never let up. Our persistence recently paid off with a big win: South Carolina granted Turning Leaf state funding which allowed us to take the next big step forward in our expansion plan. We’re thrilled to announce that we just signed a lease on a building for our new Turning Leaf Columbia location. 
 
This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Representative Chris Murphy, who sponsored the introduction of the funds into the State budget. South Carolina State Representative J. Todd Rutherford and Director of South Carolina’s Department of Corrections, Bryan Stirling, were also instrumental.

 Turning Leaf’s new facility is at 630 Blue Ridge Terrace in Columbia, SC. Its zip code, 29203, has the highest number of people on probation than any other in the Midlands region. The program will be a replica of Charleston’s successful pilot, combining 150 hours of cognitive behavioral therapy, four months of transitional work in the program’s screen-printing business, case management, and placement into jobs with livable wages and opportunities for advancement.  
 
Opening Turning Leaf Columbia is the first milestone achieved in a three-year expansion plan. We anticipate opening a third location in Upstate South Carolina in 2023. The goal is to have a high-quality impact evaluation of the program after the two new sites are developed. With positive results, we will continue to replicate statewide and beyond, working towards our goal of becoming the first-ever nationally recognized evidence-based reentry program.

 Expanding Turning Leaf statewide requires an investment of $6 million over the next three years. We are beyond grateful to Representatives Murphy and Rutherford as well as to Bryan Stirling for partnering with us to make South Carolina a leader in criminal justice reform.