Civics Based Mandated Education

Promoting Responsible Civic Engagement

The Challenge

Too many of our young adults are not responding to the current approaches available to the courts even though many of these options are evidenced based.  Why is this? At Civics Academy we believe that these options or bricks are lacking the mortar to hold them together and give them meaning.The "mortar" is a connectedness with one another and their community. There are many reasons offenders end up in a judicial revolving door but the lack of civic connectedness is one of the primary reasons they struggle to thrive.  The lack of an understanding of the world in which they live - a world of freedom that depends on responsibility - promotes the use of maladaptive behaviors/choices that perpetuate negative emotional responses which in turn creates more poor choices thus the revolving door. 

The Response

Civics Academy, in partnership with the University of Georgia and local judicial systems, gives young offenders a second chance with new innovative programs focused on increasing awareness. Participants are exposed to a cognitive-behavioral curriculum taught within a civics context as understanding what it means to be connected within a community is the "mortar" that is missing. Civics Academy seeks to break the cycle of recidivism while assisting participants in developing positive coping skills, encouraging education completion/gainful employment and becoming productive assets within their communities.

Our Classes

Responsibility Awareness Program - RAP

The RAP program helps develop critical thinking skills, reduces impulsive activity while increasing responsible thinking and pro-social behavior. Covers anger management requirements.
Appropriate for:
Driving without a license
Disorderly Conduct
Disturbing the peace
Most minor charges

Drug & Alcohol Awareness Program - DAP

The DAP program provides a general overview of Marijuana, alcohol & other drugs including the effects and consequences of their use specifically how they affect the human body and how legal charges impact their future.
Appropriate for:
Minor possession
Underage drinking

Theft Awareness Program - TAP

The TAP program provides a positive reconstructive experience while irrational thoughts are identified that contribute to criminal involvement. By initiating a positive self­ change process, healthier strategies for coping are developed.
Appropriate for:
Bad checks

Cyber Awareness Program - CAP

The CAP program cultivates an understanding of what it truly means to be a digital citizen in the 21st century. By providing the right tools to protect oneself, critically think, and positively engage online, participants discover how to navigate our internet democracy. 

Life Skills Awareness Program - LSAP


Meet The Team

Chip Morris, LCSW


Chip has over 29 years of behavioral health experience since receiving his Masters in Social Work from The University of Georgia in 1991. He is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in the state of Georgia and has worked in both the public and private sectors in the areas of community mental health, crisis intervention, private practice, and court services.  Through years of experience providing services to the local court system, he saw the need to expand and improve offender education resulting in A Strong Hand Up. He and the ASHU Civics Academy team are focused on developing a cutting edge approach to building productive citizens. Chip currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Georgia School of Social Work as well as the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.

Caleb Morris


Caleb grew up in Monroe, Georgia and graduated high school with honors from George Walton Academy. After high school, Caleb attended the University of Georgia where he had the honor of serving in the White House in the Communications and Press Offices, working as a communications specialist on a gubernatorial campaign, maintaining an assistantship at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government within the International Center and interning at Dentons law firm in Washington D.C. within the Public Policy Group. Caleb recently graduated with honors from UGA summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in International Affairs.

John E. Hall, Jr


Rusty Brooks,Ph.D.


Dr. Rusty Brooks served as the Director of the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) at The University of Georgia.  His career in higher education and international work has spanned over four decades and taken him into Eastern Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and an extensive experience in China and South Korea.  He has worked with a diverse array of public and private sector clients such as United Nations Development Program, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA, World Bank, the Georgia Power Company, Southern Energy, Inc., Wal-Mart, Tennessee Valley Authority, National Association of Regional Councils and the Professional Golfers Association, among many others in visioning processes, facilitated decision-making and in developing strategic plans.  

John E. Hall, Jr. is one of the founding partners of Hall Booth Smith, and he is dedicated to making it the finest litigation firm in the Southeast. John also maintains a robust corporate practice in International, International Trade and Finance,Arbitration/Mediation, Business Structures, Health Care and Commercial Litigation. John is a former member of the Board of Directors of the USLAW Network, a premier organization of independent law firms with offices throughout the United States that provides high quality legal services without unnecessary expense to clients. He is actively involved in a number of professional organizations and is often invited to speak at industry gatherings and continuing legal education programs. In addition, he is closely involved in developing and providing educational materials to clients.


Brian Callahan

Sales Director

Brian was born and raised in the Atlanta area where he still calls home. He began his career in sales in 1983 when he joined his father in the family business and now his son also works for the company.  Since 1983 Brian has been working with his customers all over the South and really enjoys meeting and spending time with new people. He was named salesman of the year recently and has also been the vendor of the year.   He also has added international sales for his company and really enjoys working with customers all over the globe. Brian lives in Cumming with his wife of over 35 years, Bonnie. Together they have three children and two grandchildren.

Jay Klapper, M.S.

Clinical Director

Jay Klapper, M.S. has over 30 years of experience with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Jay has experience in conducting group counseling, psychoeducational classes, assessment and classification, crisis intervention, court services and curriculum building. Jay obtained his Master’s of Science in Community Counseling from Georgia State University.

Ed Risler, MSW, Ph.D.

Quality Assurance

Ed Risler, MSW, Ph.D. has over twenty years of practice experience in juvenile justice and working with families and troubled youth. Risler maintains his license as a clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist and serves on a variety of state and professional boards. While his research interests include poverty and International Social Work, Risler has also consulted with a number of human service organizations on program and practice evaluation in Haiti, Hong Kong and Canada.

Consult Request -Court Staff Only!!!! NOT FOR CLASS REGISTRATION

If you are interested in using Civics Academy programs in your jurisdiction, court or agency, submit your interest below. To register for a class, use the "Register for a Class" option at the top of the page

© 2020 Civics Academy                               888-713-2748                       A Subsidiary of A Strong Hand Up, LLC