DALLAS, June 1, 2011 – Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ/NGS: RCII), today donated $7,500 to the Texas Offender Re-entry Initiative, for use in its mission to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into their communities and achieve lifestyles free of crime. The donation is tied to the “Random Acts of Caring” program, a philanthropic initiative launched by Rent-A-Center in 2008.
“Through the Random Acts of Caring program, Rent-A-Center is able to give back to the communities it serves,” said Kenneth Jones, public affairs manager for Rent-A-Center. “We selected T.O.R.I. in recognition of the important work this organization has undertaken in providing assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.”
Founded in December 2004 by Bishop T.D. Jakes, T.O.R.I. is an intensive 12-month case management program that offers six core services that the majority of formerly incarcerated clients need, including: employment, housing, education, family reunification, health care and spiritual guidance. Since its inception, T.O.R.I. has served more than 7,000 formerly incarcerated individuals returning to Texas.
Texas has one of the largest prison populations in the United States with an inmate population that increased 61.5 percent between 1995 and 2000. The American correctional system is also a costly venture, hitting tax payers up for $60 billion per year. In Texas, it costs $49.40 per inmate per day to incarcerate offenders, versus only $.98 per day to rehabilitate ex-offenders through the T.O.R.I. program. To this end, T.O.R.I. has kicked-off a year-long campaign to raise money to extend it services to even more ex-offenders in Texas.
“In Texas, more than 70,000 prisoners are released each year and the demand for our services is greater than our current resources,” said Tina Naidoo, a licensed clinical social worker and executive director of T.O.R.I. “The best way to get ahead of the demand is for individuals, corporations, and foundations to support T.O.R.I. so we can expand our services, serve more people and end the cycle of incarceration indefinitely. We are so appreciative of Rent-A-Center for the impact this donation will make.” A grant from the Meadows Foundation will match this donation and all others made to T.O.R.I. up to $25,000 through November 30, 2011.
The U.S. recidivism rate is currently very high with 67 percent of former prisoners re-arrested and 52 percent re-incarcerated within three years of their release, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The T.O.R.I. program low recidivism rate ranging from eight to ten percent.
Rent-A-Center, Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas, currently operates approximately 3,000 company-owned stores nationwide and in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The stores generally offer high-quality, durable goods such as major consumer electronics, appliances, computers, furniture and accessories under flexible rental-purchase agreements that generally allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. Learn more at www.rentacenter.com.
About Texas Offenders Re-entry Initiative (T.O.R.I.)
Founded in December 2004 by Bishop T.D. Jakes, under the umbrella of the Metroplex Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that bridges economic voids in urban America, T.O.R.I. is an intensive 12-month case management program that offers six core services that the majority of formerly incarcerated clients need, including: employment, housing, education, family reunification, health care and spiritual guidance. Since its inception, T.O.R.I. has served more than 7,000 formerly incarcerated individuals who have returned home to Texas. www.medc-TORI.org.
About The Potter’s House
Located in Dallas, The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as “America’s Best Preacher” and as one of the nation’s “25 most influential evangelicals.” The Potter’s House has four locations, The Potter’s House of Dallas, The Potter’s House of Fort Worth, The Potter’s House of North Dallas, and The Potter’s House of Denver and a Spanish language church, Casa de Fe. www.thepottershouse.org.