The Davidson County Jail in Nashville stands out as one of the most progressive and intense offender retraining programs in the United States, a model for other jails and prisons throughout a nation where one in every five people serve time behind bars.
Both men and women offenders take part in the excruciating journey of self-examination with batterer-intervention and trauma-survivor programs. They can opt for job training and placement, parenting and a novel program of caring for abused animals. What makes these programs successful is the involvement of the whole community from the time the inmates enter and continuing after their release.
Daron Hall, the Sheriff of Davidson County, and Paul Mulloy, the Jail Administrator, are most responsible for creating a safe environment for the men and women. They have brought together a security team and a revolutionary group of facilitators who have the collaborative goal of creating a reentry plan that starts on the first day of arrest.
Paul Mulloy: "If you are asking these people to change their lives, then you have to help them do that, and treat them with respect, because they aren't some kind of strange people you sometimes see on TV, they are our next-door neighbors."