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Tennessee Institute of Public Health

Correctional Career Pathways
Correctional Career Pathways

Correctional Career Pathways

Pictured: Kim Gass, Ginny Kidwell, and Sheriff Pat Hankins

The Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH) hosted a breakfast on May 23, 2016 in Greeneville, Tennessee to showcase the highly successful Correctional Career Pathways: A Journey to Hope project led by Greene County, Tennessee Sheriff Pat Hankins and Kim Gass, Greeneville City Schools Adult Education Supervisor.

Other partners in this extraordinary project include DTR of Tennessee, ASG. LLC and the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The event was attended by elected officials, law enforcement, court officials, educators and advocacy groups from the northeast Tennessee region.

TNIPH and the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health hosted the program that was sponsored by the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 47 inmates have started work at DTR of Tennessee, a local automobile parts manufacturer, since last year. 57 men and women have completed a 40-hour class while incarcerated to help prepare for a new life after release from jail. The initiative was launched in 2015 with support from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Classes include instruction in life skills and areas like avoiding lifestyle traps. Kim Gass is one of the program instructors and has been instrumental in its success. Cal Doty, vice president of human resources at DTR, was the other key leader in this initiative. Gass, Hankins and Doty all agree that it is the spirit of team effort that has contributed to the overall success of the problem. TNIPH executive director Ginny Kidwell announced a mini-grant to establish mental health awareness and counseling opportunities for inmates participating in the program as part of the Regional Roadmap 2 project.

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