How It Began

COVID-19 Emergency
Response Fund

Governor Bill Lee declares
“Second Chance” month

There were 19,759 males and 2,016 females assigned to Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) for a total of 21,775 offenders incarcerated in Tennessee’s adult institutions on February 8, 2020. Adult offenders are not housed in the unit occupied by juveniles; however, there were 8 juveniles incarcerated in adult TDOC facilities as of February 8, 2020. The average cost-per-day to house a TDOC offender (including those housed at privately managed facilities) was $79.06 in fiscal year 2017-2018. The cost to house a death row offender was $109.69. Prevention is more cost effective for everyone.

A close-up of young and old individuals gathered around a table, each holding a paper and conversing with the others.

Most released inmates wish to become law-abiding citizens and have the best intention of living a conventional life. The majority meet hurdles which are almost insurmountable for successful reentry into the community, having few job skills, lacking formal education, and discrimination in housing and job markets which are unforgiving of criminal missteps. As a result, returning individuals become local statistics — the homeless, the unemployed, the under-educated, the impoverished. Defeated, being unable to make it in the conventional world, many are rearrested for a new crime within five years which contributes to victimization and drains community resources. A recent study estimates the cost of homelessness in Nashville is $7,536.61 and the cost of chronic homelessness in Nashville is $10,624.72 per person. Removal, or at least reduction, of these hurdles promotes a greater likelihood of success andsignificantly benefits society as a whole.