TDOC veterans housing unit helps inmates get their lives together


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —The Turner Center Industrial Complex in Only and the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville, are both helping veterans who have been locked up.

The Tennessee Department of Correction opened the two veterans housing units at the beginning of 2019 with plans to expand the program in the future.

The units were designed to address the unique and specific needs of veterans who have been incarcerated.

“Veterans are among the fastest growing population in prisons. The Tennessee Department of Correction with assistance from the TN Department of Veterans Services, identifies veterans when they first enter our system and they are given the option to live in the veterans housing unit. Research shows that veterans, like those returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning with post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses and injuries that contribute to prolonged pain management resulting in addiction and behaviors that often lead to increased exposure to the criminal justice system. The Veterans Housing Unit at the TDOC Turney Center Prison works to reconnect veterans with the pride and dignity they had while serving their country.”- Dorinda Carter, Tennessee Department of Correction.

Lori Bland’s son is currently serving time and entered into the veteran’s housing unit when it started. She says her son has taken major steps towards getting his life together.

“The school opportunities, The re-entry program the veteran’s are sponsoring, it has made him more relaxed and more excited about his future,” said Bland.

The Veterans Units currently have a capacity of 182 men and they do plan expanding the program.

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