Tina Naidoo, MSSW, LCSW, is the Executive Director of the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.), founded by Bishop T.D. Jakes, which has been instrumental in the lives of over 42,000 returning citizens across Texas. Under her leadership, T.O.R.I. has developed a groundbreaking 12-month reentry program that offers a lifeline to those seeking a second chance and leads them towards self-sufficiency. The program’s low recidivism rate of 16% is a testament to its transformative approach and cost-effectiveness, with a mere $4 a day per individual compared to the $50/day cost of incarceration in Texas.
T.O.R.I. has received numerous national recognition and accolades, including the Second Chance Act grants from the Department of Justice and the Office of the Texas State Governor. It has also partnered to assist with local initiatives through The City of Dallas, and the USAO’s Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Ms. Naidoo’s impact extends beyond borders, with her efforts being recognized in 2016 with the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the White House’s recognition as a Champion of Change. In 2021, she testified before the Canadian Parliament on behalf of a Bill inspired by T.O.R.I., leading to the passage of the Federal Framework for Recidivism Reduction Act in 2022. Her testimony significantly influenced the criminal justice landscape in Canada, and she received the Difference Maker Award from MP Richard Bragdon of the Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons in 2022.
Ms. Naidoo continues to champion a reformed criminal justice system, empowering individuals to declare “I Am More” and rewrite their futures with hope and dignity.