Turned Back Prison Ministries
and Blog

bulletTurned Back Re-entry Internet Support Group
bulletTurned Back Blog
bulletFirst Challenges Upon Reentry by IS
bulletSights Unseen by Jonas
bulletResources:
bullet Ex-Offender Career Resources
The Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority (FACAA)
bulletGDC Reentry Handbook
bulletVeteran's Guidebook for Georgia
bullet National Resource Directory - Georgia
A listing of housing and other resources available through Restorative Justice Community.
bulletTransition House, Inc.
Housing for ex-offenders and registered sex-offenders, too!
bulletGeorgia Department of Labor

Turned Back Re-entry Internet Group

This is a support group for ex-offenders who have found Christ in prison and have turned back to glorify God by helping each other in their re-entry into society. It is moderated by Chaplain John Warrener, prison chaplain and pastor of Holy Hands Christian Ministries, Inc.

Luke 17:11-19 (NLT) As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. [12] As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, [13] crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" [14] He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. [15] One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God, I'm healed!" [16] He fell face down on the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. [17] Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? [18] Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" [19] And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well."

Who is eligible?

bulletAnyone who has been incarcerated in Georgia prisons or jails and has now re-entered society and would like be part of a re-entry support group on the internet
bulletAnyone who is active in prison ministry in Georgia jails or prisons
bulletCurrent or former prison chaplains

How do I join

bullet Click here if you want to create a yahoo email account and join
bulletOr click here and send me an email and you will receive an invitation to join using your own email account

Turned Back Blog:

Living Under the Registry [for sex offenders] by IS

I do live in Georgia near Atlanta. When released I met with probation and they went over several pages of restrictions and only gave a few of them to me based on the circumstances of my case. Many of the sex offenders will have alot of these extra restrictions placed on them especially if their case involves children.

I am not restricted from being around children as a condition of probation but must abide by any restrictions involving work and living as covered by the sex offender laws.

We had a meeting on Halloween at the court house, to keep us off the street, and a member of the DA's office was present to discuss the laws and answer questions. Her main point was "if in doubt ask someone". She was adamant about us knowing first the conditions of our probation and secondly the sex offender laws and any changes that may, and usually do, occur each year.

Although the DA's office can not speak to us if we are on probation, our family and friends can speak to them to answer questions. We can and should call probation or the Sheriff's office anytime we have a question on whether or not we can do something.

The only thing that would keep someone from going to Wal-Mart, etc would be if they are not allowed to be around children under 16. Again, always know the conditions of probation. Everyone's case is different.

I personally do not have restrictions that keep me from going where I want although I do keep an eye out to prevent me from putting myself in a compromising situation.

The DA also reminded us that the same laws that cover them also protect us. There are some who have been run out of homes or neighborhoods because of the registry. However, if we are threatened, harassed or someone comes on our property they will be prosecuted if we file a complaint.

There is no law that makes us tell a landlord or employer about the registry. Both of my employers were informed of my case and both still gave me an opportunity to work for them. I still have a standing offer from the first one to return anytime I need a job and my present job has lasted over a year and a half and I am a supervisor.

The first place that I rented was a mobile home and I did inform the landlord of my situation. All he wanted to know is if I was a threat to others nearby. I now live in a home in a subdivision with an option to buy and my contract is written in a way, approver by the Sheriff Department, so that I would not have to move even if a daycare was moved next door. That is why it is so important to stay in contact with those that monitor you at law enforcement and probation. Find out how your probation officer, the Sheriff department and the DA's office interperet the law. It's better to ask before that have to explain in court. Make sure you understand the loitering part of the law too.

The law that went into effect on July 1 about volunteering at church lead to me having to resign four of my five positions their. It is currently under litigation and if overturned then I can return to being active again. As of now I can only attend services and functions but can not be actively involved in serving.

It is not difficult to live under the restrictions once you get used to it, especially if you are in an area where law enforcement is actually supportive of you being successful. Many of the violations of the registry laws seem small and harmless yet have devastating results of 10-30 years. One example is someone moving from one county to another. They report at the Sheriff department to register in their new county of residence but fail to notify the department in their previous county that they have left. Remember, the DA's only prosecute the violations of law, the legislatures are the ones who make these laws and they will change every time they feel like it will make political sense to do so.

I know this is long and I hope that it helped. Feel free to share this information and let me know of anymore questions.

IS

 
First Challenges Upon Reentry by IS

I would have to say that it was starting over, not knowing what direction to go in and not knowing who was behind me and who was against me.

The next one was loneliness as I went into prison married and came out single.

As each day turned into weeks and then months I found that my fears were unnecessary as our wonderful Lord opened doors were they were needed and placed people in my path whom I could trust and who could give me direction when needed.

Learning to live under the registry [sex offender registry and residence restrictions] is also difficult but not impossible. The fear of not knowing what people will think if they find out is not necessary. I have found that most, once they hear the situation, don't have a problem with it as they see how I live my life, and those that do have a problem with it don't need to be a part of my life. As I continue to establish myself and show a good work and life ethics people tend to look at that more than the fear that the registry creates.

There has only been one person at my church who has a problem with me because of the registry and, although someone tried to create problems at my first job out of prison because of the registry, several ladies at work took to my defense even though they knew nothing about my case. They told the others that they had no business judging me as I have done nothing to them and they respected me for the way that I worked and treated all of them. Being up front about the registry when necessary is also helpful and has been surprisingly well taken by others.

A search of my name on the internet will also show my comments on a message board about the registry when the supreme court overturned the sex offender registry last fall. [It was later reinstated.]

Hope this helps.

IS

 

Sights Unseen by Jonas

Greetings to my fellow brothers in CHRIST at Turned Back Group.

I pray that this message will bless you and encourage to keep standing for Christ.

Jude 24 says, "Now unto HIM that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of HIS glory with exceeding joy." It is Christ who enables us to stand and not of ourselves. For many of us who have recently left prison we are constantly remind that we must ever be weary of the devil. That he is there at every corner waiting to ensnare us in his traps and temptations.

One of my favorite verses is 'submit to GOD, resist the devil and he will flee from you.' We are reminded to resist the devil and he will flee from us but we fail to recognize the first part of this verse which is to SUBMIT TO GOD. That is essential as well as the first part. If we submit ourselves to GOD then the traps of the devil can not easily beset us.

Trust me my brothers, I am speaking not from head knowledge but from experience. The LORD dealt with me on this very issue because I allowed my own desires for the flesh to take priority over my relationship with GOD and the LORD lovingly chastise me for it.

I had to spend 3 extra months in prison while my Mom suffered from heart disease and diabetes. After my release I was sentence to three to six months on house arrest. Every trap and temptation that we allow the devil to ensnare us from our own devices.

We each know our strength and weaknesses. After 11 years behind those razor-wire fences I know myself better then to allow myself to be placed in any compromising position. Therefore, no bars, clubs, no drinking and no casual dating.

This is not easy, but it is possible. Not of our strength but because of HIS strength.

Another one of my favorite verse, Ephesians 3:20 say, "Now unto HIM that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." That power, my Brothers, is the same power that shaped and molded the Earth, the same power that woke each of us up this morning and this amazing power dwells in every person who walks with the LORD.

It is the LORD who empowers us and enables us to STAND. Those traps and temptation will not engulf you if you guard who you 'hang with', how you spend your time and where you go. And when those traps and temptations do find you, please remember WHO stands for you, WHO empowers you and most of all WHOSE you belong to.

My dear Brothers, now and in the future because I am believing in GOD for the increase in newly freed Men in GOD, I encourage you to trust in the LORD and seek HIS face each and everyday.

In CHRIST,
Jonas

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