Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall are scheduled to headline a criminal justice reform and addiction conference Wednesday in Nashville.
The organization Men of Valor, a Nashville-based prison ministry, will host the event, according to a press release.
The meeting is scheduled to take place at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Nashville’s Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, located 2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Special guests will include Alice Johnson, a Memphis native. U.S. Republican President Donald Trump recently commuted her life sentence.
Men of Valor is a prison ministry in Middle Tennessee committed to reconciling men to God, their families, and society.
The recidivism rate for Men of Valor participants—with programming both before release and up to a year afterward—is between nine and 15 percent. That number far lower than the state and national average, which hovers around 70 percent of prisoners who are re-arrested within three years, according to a press release.
As The Tennessee Star reported in April, Men of Valor commit themselves to winning men in prison to Christ. Their goal is to help these men reenter society as men of integrity.
These things matter to all Tennessee residents.
The 2019 Tennessee Department of Corrections budget is more than $1 billion. Tennessee’s prisons currently have more than 25,000 incarcerated men and women, according to a Men of Valor brochure.
Gov. Lee, a Men of Valor board member and mentor, said last spring that it costs taxpayers $28,000 a year to go back to prison.
As The Star reported last year, Men of Valor founder Carl Carlson spent four years in prison as a younger man. Carlson passed away five years ago.
Curt Campbell, Men of Valor’s director, told The Tennessee Star last year that the program originated in 1997. In 2006 organizers envisioned a campus where men in the group could live their first year together out of prison.
“This is a place where there is structure, accountability, support, and everything a guy needs for a successful re-entry,” Campbell said at the time.
“If guys can live in community together while they are in transition and get the support they need then their chances for success skyrocket. We have seen it happen on a smaller scale for the first 15 plus years (of Men of Valor), and we believe this will be a game changer for our ministry and our men.”
The program receives money from grants, churches, and mostly individuals. Resources provided include addiction recovery support, employment, housing, healthcare, and learning how to transform themselves into better husbands, fathers, and members of society, Campbell said.
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