The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI) funds and coordinates on-site degree-bearing college programs in prisons in Tennessee. To this end, THEI partners with the Tenn. Department of Correction and local colleges like Nashville State Community College and Dyersburg State Community College to offer the opportunity for incarcerated individuals at two prisons -- Turney Center Industrial Complex in Middle Tennessee and Northwest Correctional Complex in West Tennessee -- to earn General Ed. Certificates and AS degrees in Business Administration and/or Political Science. Further, THEI encourages and helps formerly incarcerated students continue their academic pursuits upon release should a student be released prior to degree completion. Credits earned behind bars are recognized by and transferable to any Tennessee Board of Regents college or university, as well as SACS accredited private and public colleges and universities outside of Tennessee. The academic program is rigorous and integrates technology with a liberal arts curriculum. The program started at Charles Bass Correctional Complex in Nashville in 2012 and in 2014 started at a 2nd prison - the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Only, TN. In January 2017 college courses began at a 3rd prison - Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, TN. There are currently 115 students enrolled in college through THEI.
The THEI provides access to quality, degree-bearing higher ed. in TN prisons in order to help individuals lead productive lives in and outside of prison.
The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEInitiative) funds and coordinates on-site, degree-bearing (A.S.) college courses in prisons in Tennessee. Upon release, THEInitiative encourages and helps formerly incarcerated students continue their academic pursuits. THEInitiative works in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Correction, Nashville State Community College, Lipscomb University and other colleges and universities in Tennessee in order to make these academic opportunities possible. At present, THEInitiative operates a college program at the Turney Center Industrial Complex, a min. to med. security prison located outside near Nashville, TN. Courses and credits are offered by Nashville State Community College.
An abundance of research shows the efficacy of post-secondary education in reducing recidivism rates. With a current prison population of 2.4 million, the United States maintains the highest per capita and percentage incarceration rates in the world. Poor
The mission of the Tennessee Higher Education Initiative is to provide access to on-site degree-bearing higher education for individuals in Tennessee prisons; to support our students in leading meaningful lives in and outside prison; to prepare our studen