Working Together To Reduce Recidivism In Tennessee

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In Tennessee, we take a strong stance against crime with our dedicated law enforcement officers and our judicial system working hard to keep our communities safe and secure.  

We also know that more than 95 percent of all incarcerated individuals will eventually be released. Nationally, that means 650,000 former inmates returning to our towns and neighborhoods every year.  

As one who has dedicated almost three decades of my life to helping these individuals prepare for reentry into mainstream life, it is clear we must do more to help them succeed. 

While successful reentry of an inmate begins with individual transformation, it ultimately benefits us all. It results in safer communities and less crime. It means more people finding meaningful work to provide for their families and contribute to the tax base. 

Yet, the U.S. has a massive recidivism crisis. Currently, three out of every four inmates will be rearrested within five years of release. These overwhelming numbers mean thousands of men and women are stuck in a desperate cycle of returning to crime and prison, with devastating consequences for their families and our communities.  

The reasons for high rates of recidivism are complex and numerous, but among the most common are substance use disorders, lack of education and marketable job skills, and the inability to secure housing or stable employment due to a criminal record. Unless we can address these barriers, former offenders simply find it easier to return to a life of crime.

At CoreCivic, we have made reducing recidivism a central part of our company’s mission. We believe our nation’s alarming recidivism numbers can and must be dramatically reduced, but we also know the work must start at the very beginning of an inmate’s sentence.

Our newly-implemented “Go Further” process brings together an array of resources and programs available to the inmates in our care and empowers them to develop life plans that address their barriers to successful reentry. 

That plan can include Career and Technical Education courses, substance use disorder treatment, victim impact programs, and family reunification work, among others. We are taking an innovative approach to reentry services by incorporating these classes into a holistic process tailored to each individual's specific needs. Our focus is on what it will take to give this individual the best chance of never returning to prison.

By providing industry-credentialed training, our goal is to quickly help incarcerated men and women find a job after prison. As of February, CoreCivic is assisting more than 1,700 inmates in Tennessee in training programs ranging from HVAC to information technology.

While an incarcerated person’s second chance begins during incarceration, it doesn’t end there. Reentry Centers and aftercare organizations provide a vital bridge to resources critical to long-term success.

Locally, CoreCivic partners with organizations like Men of Valor, Dismas House, and The Next Door, which provide ongoing counseling, temporary housing, food, clothing, employment opportunities, clinical support, and other resources for individuals just released from prison. 

These groups are making a real and significant impact in reducing Tennessee’s recidivism rate. By working together, the Volunteer State has seen recidivism dip below 50 percent while the national average still sits at 67 percent. While we are encouraged at this improvement, there is still work to be done. 

Those who have served their time and paid their dues for past actions deserve a second chance at life. At CoreCivic, we often use the phrase, “We care about the one,” because every person is important, and changing one life can change many lives. And ultimately, that means building a better world for all of us. 

Joe Pryor
Senior Director for Reentry Services at CoreCivic, and the former Chief Chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons



The Supply Chain Issues Aren't Funny

The Present And The Future

Hospital COVID Rules Need To Be Changed


Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, made a poor attempt at humor today when she was questioned about the supply chain crisis. A reporter asked her why President Biden hadn’t acted sooner ... (click for more)

All the “wokeness” movements and attempts to pitch one race against another has blinded many Americans from realizing some of the great accomplishments that have occurred in our society. When ... (click for more)

My whole life changed the day my mama got sick. She had been coughing for a week and was not getting any better. It was a Tuesday morning, my cousin called and said my mama wouldn’t eat or drink ... (click for more)



Opinion

The Supply Chain Issues Aren't Funny

Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, made a poor attempt at humor today when she was questioned about the supply chain crisis. A reporter asked her why President Biden hadn’t acted sooner to address the crisis and was even so bold as to imply Biden’s administration had failed to anticipate the situation. Ms. Psaki, the Rosa Klebb lookalike, responded sarcastically by saying ... (click for more)

The Present And The Future

All the “wokeness” movements and attempts to pitch one race against another has blinded many Americans from realizing some of the great accomplishments that have occurred in our society. When we consider the prior societal problems pre-1970s, we have come a long way toward internal peace. When I consider the advances made by those who are Black and Hispanic, I realize that someone, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Steam Logistics To Add 400 Jobs And Renovate John Ross Building; Firm Will Seek 9-Year Office PILOT Tax Break

Steam Logistics officials announced that the company will expand its existing operations in downtown Chattanooga, creating more than 400 new jobs. Founded in 2012, the Chattanooga-based logistics business will invest $6.8 million to expand its operations into the historic John Ross building, which will adjoin Steam Logistics’ existing offices at the corner of Broad and Fourth ... (click for more)

58-Year Old Woman Shot On Emma Kate Drive Late Monday Afternoon

A 58-year old woman was shot late Monday afternoon on Emma Kate Drive. At approximately 5:36 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the 2000 block of Emma Kate Drive on a report of a person shot. Upon arrival, officers located a woman suffering from gunshot wounds and secured the scene. The victim was transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS with non-life threatening ... (click for more)

Sports

Dan Fleser: Top Vols Hooker, Evans, Cade Mays "Day-To-Day"

Josh Heupel rarely offers much in the way of injury updates. Tennessee’s football coach made an exception on Monday regarding three Vols. Heupel’s change of plan spoke to the importance of the trio. Hendon Hooker is the starting quarterback. Tiyon Evans is the most productive running back to date. Cade Mays is the most accomplished offensive lineman. “Hendon, Tiyon and ... (click for more)

Bradley's Rhyne Howard Earns Pre-Season All-American Honors

University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard Rhyne Howard has been named a preseason All-America honoree by both Lindy’s Sports and The Athletic, the media organizations announced recently. This is the second straight season that Howard, a former star at Bradley Central High School, has been tabbed a preseason All-America honoree by Lindy’s Sports. Howard is no stranger ... (click for more)