T.O.R.I. serves returning citizens and their families by providing holistic, wrap-around services that foster positive lifestyle changes in ex-offenders.
In Texas, it costs taxpayers nearly $50 per day to incarcerate one individual, while it costs T.O.R.I. only $4 per day to rehabilitate.
• Developed yearlong case management program
• Served over 10,000 returning citizens and their families
• Reduced recidivism rate from 52% to just 11%
• Selected by the City of Dallas to implement a pilot reentry program
"Ex-offenders have the same basic human needs that we do – they need a place to live, a job, and a place to belong.”
Tina Naidoo, MSSW, LCSW, is the Executive Director of the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.) a prisoner reentry program of The Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas founded by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Bishop Jakes recognized the need for reentry assistance for former inmates who had been visited by The Potter’s House Prison Ministry and then would come to The Potter’s House Church upon release looking for help. Since opening its doors in 2005, T.O.R.I. has served over 10,000 returning citizens and their families by providing holistic, wrap-around services that foster positive lifestyle changes in ex-offenders.
Startling statistics reveal that nearly 1 in 3 Americans have a criminal record, which carries lifelong barriers and restrictions to basic human needs like employment, housing, and education. With 48,000 legal restrictions on those with criminal records, successful reintegration into society is nearly impossible.
Studies have shown that of the 650,000 people released from prison each year, two-thirds of this population will return to prison within three years. In Texas alone, approximately 70,000 inmates return home every year with insurmountable obstacles to overcome on the path towards healing, redemption, and purpose.
Tina Naidoo has served under the vision and leadership of Bishop T.D. Jakes for more than 20 years. Armed with her extensive background in social work, she developed an impactful and comprehensive yearlong case management program that culminates with a dynamic graduation ceremony for returning citizens. This annual graduation ceremony is a huge milestone for T.O.R.I.’s clients, and is supported and embraced by The Potter’s House faith-based community of staff, volunteers, and over 30,000 members and partners from all over the world. Businesses, law enforcement, and elected government officials get behind this initiative, and show up every year to celebrate each graduating class. Some of the same judges that gave T.O.R.I.’s clients sentences at one point in timeline up on stage to hand them their diplomas.
“T.O.R.I. does not only show ex-offenders how to reintegrate into society, but more importantly, it helps them identify the propensities, choices, and decisions that brought them to a negative end in the first place,” says Bishop T.D. Jakes. T.O.R.I.’s faith-based approach to reentry gives its clients an added component that government agencies and many community-based initiatives cannot provide their clients. “Most returning citizens that are successful attribute that success to their faith being a spiritual anchor that gives them hope despite the odds stacked against them,” stated Tina Naidoo.
Now in its 12th year, the program has transformed the lives of thousands seeking assistance in T.O.R.I.’s six core component areas – Employment, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Family Reunification, and Spiritual Guidance. To date, the results of the T.O.R.I. program have been astounding! Last year alone, T.O.R.I. served more than 2,600 returning citizens. While the national recidivism rate stands at 52%, T.O.R.I. has an average recidivism rate of only 11%. In Texas, it costs taxpayers nearly $50 per day to incarcerate one individual, while it costs T.O.R.I. only $4 per day to rehabilitate.
Tina Naidoo’s commitment to reentry and tireless efforts on the behalf of returning citizens have garnered T.O.R.I. national recognition and multiple awards. T.O.R.I. has been awarded Second Chance Act grants by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Furthermore, T.O.R.I. was selected by the City of Dallas to implement a pilot reentry program whose goal is to increase employment opportunities, advance second chances, and reduce recidivism throughout the Dallas area. In 2016, Tina Naidoo was a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award by the National Alliance of Faith and Justice. That same year, the White House also recognized Tina Naidoo as one of their 2016 Champions of Change for her work on expanding fair chance opportunities.
Tina Naidoo continues to work passionately to transform the lives of returning citizens and their families by Changing The Narrative and instilling in them that they are more than their past, more than their circumstance, and more than their worst. Clients in the T.O.R.I. program can confidently say, “I Am More.”