Turn90 Receives Riley Institute’s OneSouthCarolina Partners in Progress Award


Claudia Winkler
Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riley Institute at Furman University
864.294.3368; Claudia.winkler@furman.edu




COLUMBIA, S.C. – Turn90, a statewide program helping formerly incarcerated men successfully re-enter society, received the third annual OneSouthCarolina Partners in Progress Award from Furman University’s Riley Institute.

The award was presented to Turn90 Founder and Executive Director Amy Barch and her team during the Building OneSouthCarolina Forum in Columbia today. The annual award is given for achievements that advance social and economic progress in South Carolina.

“Turn90 represents some of the best our state has to offer,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “At the heart of the program is human compassion and empathy, which is evidenced by Turn90’s mission and also its integration of former program graduates into its leadership structure. The organization exemplifies the transformational power of frontline services that integrate the voices and experiences of those they serve into their DNA.”

Turn90 currently runs programs in Charleston and Columbia and plans to open a third facility in Spartanburg this fall. The program combines cognitive behavioral classes, supportive services, transitional work in its social enterprises, and job placement to create an opportunity for success after prison. Last year, 111 men were hired in Turn90’s social enterprises and an impressive 96 percent of those individuals remained out of prison.

“We are honored to receive this award from the Riley Institute, which recognizes Turn90’s accomplishments and affirms the value of those returning home from prison, who should not be forever defined by that experience,” said Barch. “It also honors the many supporters we have relied on along the way in order to get to where we are today.”

The forum discussion highlighted the central role of early advocates of Turn90, including U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, former Charleston Chief of Police Greg Mullen, Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling, and former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who facilitated the City of Charleston becoming the first second-chance employer to partner with Turn90.

“Turn90’s story clearly demonstrates the role of public-private partnerships in successful initiatives,” said Gordon. “Law enforcement, the judicial and corrections systems, municipal government, private businesses—all of them have to believe and invest in the model for Turn90 to succeed.”

Barch reiterated this sentiment at the forum, and underscored the fact that taking the initial gamble on a new way of approaching critical issues isn’t easy.

“We don’t know what’s possible if we’re not willing to take chances and feel uncomfortable. All forward progress requires someone to go first—in their company, community, and personal lives. Big societal problems will not be fixed by doing things the way we’ve always done them. We must have the courage to put something on the line.”



About the Riley Institute at Furman University

The Riley Institute empowers emerging and established leaders—across sectors and throughout society—with the knowledge and tools to advance equity and drive social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond. We work to strengthen public education; promote the power of diversity to help teams, organizations, and communities thrive; and elevate informed, evidence-based approaches to critical public issues. In all it does, the institute is committed to nonpartisanship and a bias-free path to change.

About Turn90

Working with men facing complex re-entry needs, Turn90 combines cognitive behavioral classes, supportive services, transitional work, and job placement to create an opportunity for success after prison where one doesn’t currently exist. Participants are previously incarcerated men who have multiple barriers to reintegrating into their communities. Turn90 offers one-on-one supportive service sessions to address individual needs such as identification, transportation, and housing; intensive cognitive behavioral classes to help participants learn new patterns of thinking and equip them with problem solving skills; paid transitional work in Turn90’s social enterprises; and job placement with competitive wages, benefits, and opportunity for advancement upon graduation. Best of all, these front-line services are delivered by credible messengers: former graduates of the Turn90 program.