New grant-funded program at Tenn. jail expected to lower recidivism rate

A grant of $50,000 to train inmates will train inmates for work


By Times News

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. — Recent action by the Sullivan County Commission opens the door to the most successful program known at keeping previous offenders out of jail. The commission has accepted an East Tennessee State University Correctional Pathways Group grant of $50,000 to train inmates for work.

It’s that simple. Nearly half the people who leave Tennessee prisons hit the streets with little in the way of job skills and no ability to provide for themselves. And so they return to what they know, old habits that often lead to drugs and criminal activity to pay for them.

What made the difference, according to The State, were efforts to prepare inmates for reentry to the world after incarceration. Those programs include educational opportunities, vocational training and job preparedness courses. The corrections department partnered with other state agencies to help inmates get identification before they leave prison, make sure they have street clothes, ensure they will have continuity in mental health services, and connections with the Department of Employment and Workforce to help them get a job.

FULL STORY: Editorial: Sullivan jail program holds great promise

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