KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – She is a one woman dynamo-working tirelessly to help the latest Knox County inmate find a path out of drugs, crime, and serving time.
Samantha Monday is a fixture in criminal court at the City/County building. An addiction case manager with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, she is an advocate for inmates like Constance Hodge, who’s been serving time on drug and assault charges, to name a few.
Crack cocaine used to rule her world.
“When I relapsed in 2016, ” Constance told us, “I … lost my job , lost everything, didn’t have funds to be able to get my drugs so I robbed somebody, which led to an assault, then I used their information to purchase things so I could be able to get my drugs.”
Samantha explains her role in helping inmates “Bridge the Gap,” finding a place to assure their goals for a healthy life are met after their jail sentence ends.
“I work within the court system to assist the inmates in getting out,” she said. “I work with defense attorneys, the District Attorney’s office, and the judges to get treatment set up, housing set up, mental health appointments.”
Samantha gets to know each inmate’s story behind each bad decision, learning that Constance grew up in a world of abuse; her mother, battling severe mental illness.
So , on this day in court, Samantha looks on with pride as Constance learns she is cleared to live in a sober house.
Constance says of Samantha, “She, I mean, has been wonderful to work with as far as my case goes, helping me get into rehab, help me get into a halfway house, staying in touch with me, you know, seeing how I’m doing. You know, she cares.”
“It makes me feel good, ” Samantha shares with us. “It makes me feel like I’m making a difference, which is the whole purpose of what I get out of bed for every day.
Samantha has an impressive track record: Constance is the 441st inmate she has helped in just under two years.
When she’s not in court, Samantha is on the phone, pacing, as she calls it, setting up a myriad of plans for so many inmates who ask for her help.
“Sometimes there’s sleepless nights,” Samantha said. “Trying to solve a problem that an inmate has and sometimes it’s just what’s the solution to helping them get back out.”
Samantha Monday, proving one person can help change the course of someone’s life.
“Samantha is a true difference maker in the lives of the people she’s reach out and touching; she’s reaching down into a dark hole so to speak, and pulling these people out,” says Kimberly Glenn, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.
Constance says the key to Samantha’s success is compassion.
“That’s what people want to know-that people care, and that’s what you don’t see a lot of.”