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TDOC Launches Nashville Works

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | 11:20am

NASHVILLE - The Department of Correction has been awarded a $540,000 federal grant to help offenders find employment upon release from prison.  The grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice, will allow the TDOC to provide transitional employment services to offenders released to the Davidson County area as part of a new program called Nashville Works.

The two-year program will begin while offenders are housed at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex in Nashville. Participants will receive four weeks of classroom instruction on interviewing, job seeking, job retention, career planning, problem solving, communication skills, workplace habits, self-awareness and self-management.  Upon successful completion of the instruction, inmates may be allowed to enter the work force through a work release program.  Others will be eligible for job placement after leaving incarceration.

Commissioner George M. Little said, "Having a job is a key determinate in whether or not someone comes back to prison.  The success of this program is important to all Tennesseans as the TDOC continues to work to promote public safety."

The award is in partnership with Chattanooga Endeavors, a non-profit organization that has provided reentry services to former offenders in Hamilton County since 1999.

"This grant provides the department with an opportunity for a new and effective approach to enhance offender employment and community reentry," said Jim Cosby, Assistant Commissioner of Rehabilitative Services.  "This new model will improve public safety and impact offender recidivism."

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