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Jail-to-work program launches in Claiborne County after success in Hamblen County

The McNabb Center launched the new program in June. It helps women transition from jail back into the community.

CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. — The McNabb Center is bringing a jail-to-work program to Claiborne County, helping women transition from jail into the community.

The team cut the ribbon on their new facility in June.

The McNabb center selects around eight applicants at a time from jail to take part in the 12-week program, focusing on the root issues some women face coming out of jail—such as addiction and trauma.

Jail-to-work also provides housing, therapy and community engagement opportunities to ease back into life outside jail.

This is the same program that saw great success in Hamblen County where 112 out of 126 women found work immediately after jail time.

“If we can duplicate this program in another community, maybe we could duplicate this program for everybody coming out of incarceration that had these issues and didn't have the support,” Hamblen County Director of Services Sharon Reid said.

The McNabb Center said 100% of the women to participate in the jail-to-work program had a history of drug addiction and over 95% have trauma.

Whitney is a recent graduate from the jail-to-work program in Hamblen County. We're only using her first name to protect her identity as she navigates substance abuse recovery.

Thanks to McNabb's services in Hamblen County—Whitney found a job, regained partial custody of her son and is spending quality time with her family free from the chains of substance abuse.

“I had been using since I was 15 years old, and had the struggles that came along with addiction, drinking and using drugs,” Whitney said. “Not only did I suffer, but my family suffered as well. This program really gave me a second chance and gave me the tools I needed to live a better, productive life, and to be able to provide for me and my son.”

The 12-week program starts near the end of the women’s sentences, leading up to their release.

The McNabb Center said women usually fill much-needed job positions in their communities upon graduating.

Reid hopes Hamblen County’s jail-to-work success will be repeated in Claiborne County.

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