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Newton County starts NEWFORCE program with RSAT graduates
Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. - Men and women who complete the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program in the Newton County Detention Center now have an opportunity to turn their recovery into a second chance.

Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes approached the county manager and human resources department with the idea of finding jobs for graduates of the program within the county. The idea has taken hold with the new NEWFORCE program. The Newton’s Engagement with Focus on Recovering Citizen Employment program is a partnership with the Sheriff’s Office and court system to hire qualified RSAT graduates in County positions.

“The people who have completed the RSAT program through the Sheriff’s Office have proven that they are ready for a fresh start,” Banes said. “What better place for them to do that than right here with Newton County. They meet all the requirements needed for the job and have shown dedication and a strong work ethic by sticking with the RSAT program.”

For the RSAT graduate to gain employment within Newton County, we must first be notified by the Sheriff’s Office or courts of their graduation and they are ready to work and meets all the qualifications of the open position.

“The men and women who participate in NEWFORCE from the RSAT program have been integrated into the community and are able to not only earn a wage but also to show that they are contributing positively to the community,” Banes said.

RSAT is a three-month substance abuse program that targets high risk, high needs offenders with a history of mental health and substance abuse as a crime-producing behavior leading to correctional supervision. The program is based on the therapeutic community model which is comprised of peer groups and counselors. The residential substance abuse treatment program was created to help offenders return to society as law-abiding citizens, self-supporting, pro-social citizens by reducing recidivism.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, admission to the RSAT program consists of the following: 

  • Requires a court-order;
  • Offenders may have an assessed need as identified by the Next Generation Assessment or placement by professional override;
  • Minimum of 18-24 months on tentative Parole Month, Parole Eligibility Date or probation supervision;
  • Unsuccessful completion of Aftercare/Day Reporting Center/RSAT or Rearrest/Reoffend associated with substance abuse after completion of the above programs;
  • Short-term incarceration graduated sanctions.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office held two RSAT graduations with another scheduled within a month.

“I’d like to thank Sheriff Ezell Brown and the Newton County courts for partnering with us to make NEWFORCE possible,” Banes said. “We are excited about the RSAT program and look forward to great results to come.