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

Juvenile Responsibility Awareness Program - JRAP

The JRAP program provides a general overview of the negative consequences that choosing to use marijuana & other drugs can have including how their use can affect the human body as well as how continued use may impact their future. The program uses evidenced based cognitive behavioral underpinnings which have shown to increase positive choices.  Completion of the JRAP course represents more than just fulfilling another condition, it will hopefully represent a positive shift in behavioral choice. 

Cyber Awareness Program - CAP


Parenting Awareness Program - PAP


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

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.

Jay Klapper, M.S.

Clinical Director

Jay Klapper, M.S. comes to ASHU with 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.

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