What is TLC and Why Does it Works So Well?

The Transformational Living Community (TLC) is an intensive 12-18 month faith-based therapeutic program in prison focusing on the issues of addiction and life controlling problems that lead to criminal behavior.

This multi-phased program is designed to provide a new alternative to traditional types of correctional rehabilitation, in which the spiritual dimension of an offenders’ life becomes the primary gateway to change. Prisoners volunteer to be admitted to the TLC and may volunteer to leave at any time. The residents live together in a positive, supportive Christian community and are expected to embrace high levels of personal accountability, responsibility and commitment to change.

The areas of focus that are dealt with in the lives of residents have to do with life controlling problems such as sexual addiction, anger, substance abuse, criminal mentality, coping with incarceration, relationships, inner healing issues, moral and character development and preparation for release. These issues are dealt with from a biblical perspective through classes, seminars, community peer groups, mentoring and individual counseling.

The foundation of the TLC is built on ten core biblical values. Every aspect of the program is designed to help residents embrace and internalize truth, and to make the kind of changes that are necessary so that when they return to the community they will be a person much better equipped to live in a pro- social manner. Residents who successfully complete the program receive significant aftercare assistance when they are released to the community; including priority consideration for admittance to our transition homes.

One of the most exciting aspects of the TLC is a mentoring program which occurs each Monday night at Palmer Correctional Center and Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. Each resident is assigned a mentor from a church in the community. Mentors and residents meet as a group and individually to disciple, encourage, and to model accountability. The intent is that the relationship which is developed will become a spiritual care net from incarceration back into the community.

TLC’s currently operate at Palmer Correctional Center, Hiland Mtn. Correctional Center and Hudson Correctional Facility (Colorado). The Palmer and Hiland Mtn. programs, with operating budgets of $185,000 annually, are funded with private donations.

Is the TLC successful?

Two out of three prisoners who graduate from the TLC program do not return to prison within three years of release. The national norms indicate that two out of three prisoners return to prison within three years. Graduates of the TLC are maintaining employment, re-building relationships with their families and communities and becoming involved in local churches. Most importantly, these “redeemed citizens” have turned from a life of crime to a life of serving God.

“For so many years I thought only of myself and lived according to my interpretation of things. My values centered around me. I’m grateful to be at a place where it’s not about me. I actually have a King and a Lord I’m responsible to. He has given me the opportunity and tools to learn a new way of living. I’m thankful for this program and how I’m learning to evaluate and control my behavior. I’m grateful that God is so caring and merciful. His mercy and grace extends even to me. I feel so unworthy of the love, but I feel so valuable that He would sacrifice His only son for me.” – a TLC graduate

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