YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley

Finding Freedom by Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences

The YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley requests funding to develop ACEs-focused recidivism reduction programming for incarcerated women in Anderson and Loudon counties with focus on the roots of criminal behavior caused by high Adverse Childhood Experiences exposure and childhood trauma. After the success of Freedom Inside, a program in Knox County created for incarcerated women with a history of violence exposure, and Supporting Youth Experiencing Trauma (SYET), a program for young people with high ACEs exposure, the YWCA aims to create a similar program targeting women with high ACE scores in rural areas who are incarcerated. Finding Freedom by Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences will provide intervention, education, assistance transitioning to the community, and ongoing support which will reduce recidivism, improve the community, and reduce ACEs for subsequent generations. Phase I will involve a needs assessment to determine strategies for implementation and select the evidence-supported model that best fits the need.

Intended collaborators include the District Attorney for the 7th Judicial District (General Dave Clark), the District Attorney for the 9th Judicial District (General Russell Johnson), local jails, local law enforcement agencies, mental health and housing providers in the areas to be served, and employers. Freedom Inside, specific to victims of violence, is funded at the state level, and Commissioners have indicated that additional funding is available for other hard-hit populations through sources such as the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Department of Corrections. Additionally, the YWCA has a lengthy history of launching and sustaining innovative programs using federal, local, and private sources.