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Attempts to gain grant fail
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A state grant that may have helped reduce the revolving jail door in Warren County has been denied, but Generations/ Gaither’s Group is stepping forward to offer its assistance.

Warren County commissioners failed in their efforts to obtain a three-year, $250,000 grant from Tennessee Department of Corrections to reduce recidivism and help inmates transition back into society. 

“We were not awarded that grant, which is very disappointing,” said Commissioner Joseph Stotts, who gave an update to members of the county Corrections Partnership Committee.

The funds were earmarked to expand the Adult Recovery Court Program, an adult court designed to promote self-sufficiency and personal responsibility through treatment and education. Drug Court serves as an alternative to incarceration and traditional prosecution to offenders with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Stotts said he’s contacted Franklin County, one of the four counties that did receive a grant, and he hopes to keep an eye on what it does with the money and if those efforts are successful. In the meantime, he’s approached Generations/ Gaither’s Group about becoming a community partner with the jail to reduce recidivism.

“I’ve talked to the company I work for, Generations, this last week,” he said. “We have a corporate meeting once a month. I talked to them about the needs we are experiencing out here at the jail and that we had talked, as a committee, about trying to get some mental health resource in the jail.”

Generations, a provider of mental health and substance abuse services, agreed to allow one counselor to visit the jail on Fridays. As a first step toward beginning that program, meetings between Generations employees and jail administration will be held to determine what’s needed at the jail and if the two can work together to fulfill those needs. 

“I’m excited about what this could mean for the inmates here,” said Stotts. “This is what we were hoping we would get out of the grant, but we didn’t get it. This is a starting point toward what we wanted to accomplish.” 

Committee members expressed gratitude to Generations for its offer to assist the jail by offering its services to incarcerated individuals in Warren County.