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News Release - Turney Center

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Keith Ferguson
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Inmate College Program Expands to Turney Center Industrial Complex

NASHVILLE, Tenn. May 19, 2014 – On Thursday, May 15, 2014, twenty-five inmates at the Turney Center in Only, Tennessee, began taking college-level credit courses offered through Nashville State Community College. The program is funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEInitiative), a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Julie L. Doochin. The program began in January 2012 at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex with over sixty incarcerated students having earned college credits to date.

When first approached about this program, Nashville State President, George H. Van Allen, saw an opportunity to assist the community with a difficult situation. Dr. Van Allen stated that “the problem of people returning to prison after serving sentences is generally known, as is the fact that the better educated of those are less likely to reoffend. The college is uniquely equipped to work with the inmate population. We intend to offer a college level program which will open and, in some cases, reopen the doors to higher education to the inmate population. We anticipate a long, successful program which will reduce recidivism and brighter futures for those leaving our classrooms.”

According to Dr. Doochin, the mission of THEInitiative is “to provide access to quality post-secondary education in correctional facilities in Tennessee in order to help individuals lead productive lives in and outside of prison, reduce recidivism, and contribute to the security and wellbeing of our communities.” In order to be accepted into the program, the inmates must first have a high school diploma or GED, write a college essay, take a college placement exam, and pay a $20 administrative fee per semester. The requirements to continue include maintain a 3.0 GPA along with a clean disciplinary record. For more information, please contact Dr. Julie Doochin at (615) 400-7811 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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