Leaders learn challenges facing those leaving prison, reentering society

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On June 15 and 16, more than 150 local government, civic, and business leaders will participate in a criminal justice reentry simulation at JA BizTown, a program offered by Junior Achievement of East Tennessee.

This two-day program has been put together by the 4th Purpose Foundation, Tennessee Department of Correction and the Knoxville Chamber. The goal is to create greater awareness of the challenges facing the formerly incarcerated while highlighting opportunities created by the passage of the Reentry Success Act and the Alternatives to Incarceration Act.

“The criminal justice reentry process can be extremely difficult and is a contributing factor to why our recidivism rates are so high,” Josh Smith, founder and CEO of 4th Purpose Foundation, said. “Our goal with this program is to bring our local leaders together for a thought-provoking and mission-focused conversation on how we can deploy more resources and reduce recidivism.”

“The Reentry Simulation is a good reminder for people who supervise offenders in the community. It helps them realize the challenges that people face. With the support of Governor Lee and the General Assembly, we will continue to move in the right direction, said TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker.

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