Connecting the Dots: Finding Housing for the Homeless Offender

Harris Childers & Tammy Herring

Upon release from prison, offenders are often faced with the difficult task of locating and affording stable housing in their communities. Their lack of income and work history, formal policies restricting access, and resistance from landlords are all challenges many must overcome to secure housing. If this criminogenic need is unmet, many offenders will be forced to live in an environment where the likelihood of reoffending and threat to public safety is highest. With this in mind, Georgia created the Re-Entry Partnership Housing Program. Re-Entry Partnership Housing (RPH) is a collaborative program between the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Georgia Department of Corrections, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. With guidance from their community supervision officer, offenders are able to obtain a license, find a job, participate in prescribed programming, and address any other needs that they may have. This workshop will explore: Barriers to housing for offenders -including offenders with mental health issues requiring supportive living; Benefits for offenders and communities; The logistical practicalities needed to adopt a similar program in other jurisdictions; and the opportunities created for justice reinvestment.

Harris Childers

Harris Childers is the Deputy Director of Field Services for the Georgia Department of Community Supervision. Since beginning his community corrections career as a parole officer in 1985, Harris has served as a: Hearing Examiner, Specialized Probation Officer, District Chief, Director of Reentry Services, and Director of Evidence Based Program Development and Continuous Quality Improvement. In his current role, Harris is responsible for overseeing the Max-Out Re-Entry (MORE) Program, Housing Initiatives, Electronic Monitoring, Probation Reporting Contact Center, Radio Communications, and is the liaison to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole and the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). A graduate of Emory University, Harris is a Georgia POST-Certified Instructor, and has conducted training on numerous topics including: Investigations, Sex Offender Supervision, Criminal Thinking, Officer Liability, Civil Rights, and Use of Deadly Force.

Tammy Herring

Tammy Herring is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Augusta University in Augusta, GA. She was a parole officer for the Georgia Parole Board for 25 years before joining the DCS Housing Unit as a Program Specialist for the Reentry Partnership Housing program as it expanded under the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GA-PRI). In 2017, Tammy’s efforts to improve the RPH program led to her promotion to manager of the DCS Housing Unit.

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