The Tennessee Institute of Public Health at the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) College of Public Health has been awarded a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to replicate and expand the “Correctional Career Pathways: Journey to Hope” program in Appalachian Tennessee.
[Photo: Ms. Ginny Kidwell]
The first of its kind in the state, and possibly nationally, the Correctional Career Pathways (CCP) program began in the Greene County, Tennessee Workhouse in 2015. The Greene County model is led by a multi-sector leadership team and gives criminal offenders the opportunity to break the cycle of arrest and incarceration and to transition into the workforce. The project led by the institute will offer funding, leadership and infrastructure to replicate the CCP program in three ARC-designated “distressed” communities. Funds will be awarded through a region-wide competitive process to approved organizations in eligible communities.
“Prescription drug abuse is a pervasive multi-dimensional issue impacting individuals, families and communities,” said Ms. Ginny Kidwell, the Tennessee Institute of Public Health executive director. “Experts describe prescription drug abuse as a 21st Century public health crisis with severe consequences such as habitual incarceration for drug-related crimes for Tennesseans of all ages and socio-economic strata.”
“Reintegrating inmates as contributing members of society will positively impact the social and economic well-being of participating communities by redirecting money and social capital and by strengthening families,”Ms. Kidwell added. “This project is designed to assist selected communities as they develop community-based responses to increased incarceration and recidivism.”
Ginny Kidwell will serve as principal investigator for the grant. The leadership team will be led by Ms. Kidwell, Ms. Kim Gass, Greene County Technology Center career counselor and Greene County Sheriff Mr. Pat Hankins. Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of the ETSU College of Public Health, Ms. Kris Bowers, TNIPH evaluator, Ms. Paula Masters, assistant dean for student services in the College of Public Health, and Dr. Kate Beatty, assistant professor in the department of health services management and policy, will serve on the ETSU project team. Dr. Kidwell, Ms. Masters and Dr. Beatty also serve as co-directors of the Center for Rural and Appalachian Health housed in the ETSU College of Public Health.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president.
The Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH) in the ETSU College of Public Health is a lead statewide convener of organizations, agencies and groups designed to build and foster the collaborations necessary to improve population health. For further information about TNIPH or this project, please contact Ginny Kidwell at 423-439-4651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.