According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than half of released prisoners will return to prison within three years. To combat this issue, TORI, a non-profit organization lead by Bishop Jakes, offers comprehensive services in several areas including: employment coaching, housing, financial literacy, substance abuse counseling, family reunification and spiritual chaplaincy.
The year-long program honored 150 men and women graduating from the class on February, 28 at The Potter’s House in Dallas. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, The White House Office for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Texas Department of Corrections joined the event to support the participants. Food Network star Jeff Henderson, who served 10 years in prison for a drug conviction and is now host of the “Chef Jeff Project,” will served as the keynote speaker.
Bishop Jakes spoke to ESSENCE.com about the importance of the program, other members who have shared their story and why graduating is so significant.