As people across the nation are experiencing uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a particularly challenging time for the 4.3 million people who have a Georgia criminal history, who were already experiencing unemployment, housing insecurities and economic instability due to barriers caused by a criminal record.
Georgia Justice Project is committed to serving people affected by the criminal justice system, and our services are needed now more than ever for our clients, who are experiencing heightened uncertainty in regards to employment, housing, health & safety during as a result of the pandemic. We have been adjusting and expanding our services to be a lifeline for our clients through this crisis. Below are some updates on our programs & operations, as well as client stories highlighting the complex needs of our clients during this challenging time.
GJP met Freddie when he was only 17 years old but facing serious charges – a minor crime that he and a friend were involved in that went very wrong. Freddie comes from a tight-knit, low-income family and, after serving his time, he wanted to contribute to the family income but had little education, no work skills or employment history. Despite his background, we were impressed by a young man who was bright and friendly even though he had few chances in life.
GJP has been committed to serving Freddie in the three years since. GJP defended Freddie and successfully advocated for a sentence that was more aligned with the crime he was convicted for. Freddie has been working with a GJP social worker on goals that would benefit him – finishing his education, finding employment, and completing his probation.
After all his progress, Freddie lost his job as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Like many of our clients, Freddie has little margin for error, when one thing goes wrong, everything can go wrong. Recently, GJP was able to pass along direct financial assistance to help him during this difficult time. Through it all, Freddie is determined to meet his goals, is committed to his financial responsibilities and using GJP resources to help him find his next job.