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Bishop Jakes Honors 150 Ex-Offenders

by Staff
February 25, 2010
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DALLAS, ( -- Bishop T.D. Jakes is keeping his commitment to reducing recidivism. On Feb. 28, at 9:00 a.m., Jakes will hold a graduation ceremony for 150 ex-offenders who have successfully completed the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (TORI).

TORI is a yearlong program that addresses the needs of former inmates returning to Texas. One of this year's graduates is Lakitha Dardin, 31, who was sexually abused as a child, became involved with a gang, and dropped out of high school at 15. She began using drugs and later found herself in prison for nearly four years. After her release, she entered the TORI program, took advantage of the numerous services, and is now looking forward to the graduation.

"I feel like I'm accomplishing something when everyone told me I wouldn't have anything," says Dardin.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than half of released prisoners will return to prison within three years. To combat this issue, TORI offers comprehensive services in several areas including: employment coaching, housing, financial literacy, substance abuse counseling, family reunification and spiritual chaplaincy.

The ceremony will take place at The Potter's House in Dallas. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney General's Office, The White House Office for Faith- based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Texas Department of Corrections are scheduled to attend. Food Network star Jeff Henderson, who served 10 years in prison for a drug conviction and is now host of the "Chef Jeff Project," will serve as the keynote speaker.

TORI currently serves: Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Visit for more information.

To register for media credentials for the TORI graduation ceremony go to Individual biographies for TORI graduates are available upon request. For interviews please contact Dana Slagle at (469) 360-7104 or

About The Potter's House
Located in Dallas, The Potters House is a 30,000- member church led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as "America's Best Preacher" and as one of this nation's "25 most influential evangelicals."

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