By Tamas Mondovics
The Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) 5249 Highway 67 West in Mountain City, TN, was pleased to announce earlier this month, the hosting of its offender resource fair.
According to NECX officials, the fair promoted a total of 15 partnering agencies and nonprofits from around Eastern Tennessee and was held to assist those within 18 months of their release date.
“The event was organized to put offenders nearing release in contact with those who can provide them access to the resources needed to be successful,” NECX stated in a press release.
Offenders at the event were provided the opportunity to meet and network with agencies that specialize in employment such as the American Job Center, as well as educational institutions such as Northeast State Technical Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.
“Our programming for reentry begins the very first day they [offenders] come into our custody, but once they begin nearing their release date, that’s when it’s important to augment that programming by bringing in community-based partners for the offenders to network with,” said James Bowman II, NECX’s Offender Workforce Development Specialist.
Additional partners from Tennessee Prison Outreach Ministries and other state agencies like the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Department of Labor and Workforce Development were also in attendance.
“By meeting and networking with the representatives present, we’re ensuring they’re equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary and vital to successful reentry,” Bowman II said. “When our offenders succeed, our communities are safer.”
On its website, NECX explains that the facility is a time-building prison with a close custody designation and that the prison also houses offenders of other custody levels. Three hundred offenders are located at the minimum annex site in Johnson County, while another 180 offenders, who are within ten years of their eligible release date, are housed in Carter County.
“NECX offers intensive substance use and anger management counseling programs. Both sites operate extensive community service programs, which provide thousands of hours of skilled and unskilled labor to state and local government, as well as nonprofit agencies in East Tennessee. NECX offenders may attend Adult Basic Education classes or one of six vocational programs. Those who do not have a high school diploma can earn a GED certificate. In addition, NECX has mandatory Career Management for Success and Release for Success programs for those nearing release.”
For more information, please visit www.tn.gov/correction.