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Alston Wilkes Society has been helping ex-felons rebuild lives for nearly 60 years. 
As a past president of the Alston Wilkes Society Board of Directors and as current Chair of the Alston Wilkes Society Foundation, I am writing to you in reference to your article dated July 13th, “SC becoming a national leader in fewer ex-felons returning to prison.” I took great pride in reading the news that South Carolina now has the lowest rate of recidivism within the state corrections system in the nation. As a life-long advocate for justice-involved individuals, I am well aware of the challenges facing our citizens who are returning from incarceration and becoming productive members of their community. It is incredibly encouraging to see the government of South Carolina supporting agencies and programs that serve this purpose. I would like to sing the praises of the Alston Wilkes Society. Founded in 1962 and providing Reentry services for the past 59 years in South Carolina, AWS has been working with former offenders at the state and federal levels to ensure they have the tools and resources they require. The Alston Wilkes Society’s community service programs and residential reentry centers have, year-in and year-out, produced success rates far exceeding national averages. It is because of the work of agencies like this that South Carolina now leads the way in helping those in need rebuild their lives for a safer community.

Robert Barber
Bowens Island Road, Charleston 

When I came to AWS with a child that other providers frowned upon and would not accept placement for, I was concerned that this child’s life would never be given the care it so clearly needed. Ms. Bookard greeted him with a warm and fuzzy smile, and I knew then that this time would be different and that he was home. I thank Ms. Bookard for making a lasting difference in this child’s life.

Wanda Debnam, DSS

I am forever grateful to Alston Wilkes and their employees who took the time to show me what God’s grace looks like and how to recover and reclaim what belongs to me. Thank you for being that listening ear for your patience, dedication in helping me find a place to call home.

SSVF Client “Sheila”

I came to seek assistance from the Alston Wilkes Society because I had a determination to rebuild my life and reunite his family. The Alston Wilkes Society helped me secure an ID put me in touch with partner agencies for clothing and food. Then they helped me with finding employment opportunities and encouraged me to return to school. I am so grateful to the Alston Wilkes Society for the second chance they gave me, but more importantly, for helping me bring my family back together.

Sumter Community Services Client “Joe”