Prioritizing Workforce Development Reduces Recidivism and Improves Public Safety
Nashville, TN – Today, the Justice Action Network (JAN), the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system at the state and federal level, premiered a short film highlighting the rehabilitative, educational, and workforce development opportunities in Tennessee’s prisons and jails before the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee. The production, filmed inside the Turney Center Industrial Complex and Nashville’s Correctional Development Center, features interviews with those currently incarcerated, lawmakers, sheriffs, program officers, and others who are working to equip individuals with skills and opportunities to improve their chances of employment upon release. At a time when the Tennessee Legislature and Governor Bill Lee are contemplating expanding second chance opportunities, JAN’s presentation demonstrated the value of and support for such programs.
“Re-entry begins at entry,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall states in the video. “That means the minute they get here, we have to figure out what can we do to better prepare them to get out.”
Incarcerated individuals vouched for the skills they are acquiring. One participant of the TRICOR wood flooring plant program at the Turney Center said: “It makes me want to be a better person. I can’t figure out why every prison in the state doesn’t have a program like this.”
“We applaud Tennessee’s commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for currently incarcerated individuals,” said Lauren Krisai, senior policy analyst at Justice Action Network. “We hope this film affirms the steps they’ve already taken, and encourages further action to expand opportunities for those involved with the criminal justice system, and second chance opportunities for those returning to their communities. We look forward to working with Governor Bill Lee and our champions in the legislature to support programs and policies to reduce recidivism and make our communities safer in the process.”