The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and Sheriff Daron Hall held their third annual Lifecycle Conference on July 21 at St. James Missionary Baptist Church. The conference featured a host of guest speakers such as morning speaker Sheriff Hall and lunch speaker Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry.
Employees of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office take their roles as public servants seriously and regularly devote their time and energy to going the extra mile to support the community. The Community Outreach Division was created to help facilitate this dedication and markets different ways to get DCSO volunteers into the community; bridging the gap between the Sheriff’s Office and residents of Davidson County. Since its 2002 inception, this division has organized hundreds of events.
The mission of Lifecycle is to promote community prevention programs, awareness and education within the jail community, and the transition from jail to community. As you can see from the mission, Lifecycle is really all about making sure offenders leave jail better than when they entered. This isn’t possible without community partners and volunteers. Joining this collaborative discussion on July 21 were others who want to break the cycle of crime and turn lives around. The conference also featured breakout sessions from area leaders.
The third annual Lifecycle Conference was designed to provide education and awareness for the community on issues regarding offenders in an effort to achieve six clearly defined goals, as follows: to stimulate discussion of ideas that would challenge the community reception of the ex-offender; to share ideas regarding the need to have multiple county, community, and jail programs working in unison; to exchange information and ideas specific to the inmate incarceration and how to best use that time; to increase awareness of the value and benefits of offender workforce development in conjunction with the re-entry process; to ultimately increase safety in Davidson County by reducing recidivism; and to create a viable countywide network of communication between the DCSO and community partners. Breakout Sessions were sponsored by the following community agencies: 413 Strong, Gotham, Jobs for Life, Boys and Girls Club Middle Tennessee, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Family Reconciliation Center, Dismas House, Juvenile Court Programs, and Mental Health & Suicide Prevention.
Speakers at this year’s Lifecycle Conference
Sheriff Daron Hall was sworn in as the 61st sheriff of Davidson County September 2002 and elected to his fourth term in 2014. Since Hall became sheriff, the Davidson County inmate population has decreased by 26 percent. Under his direction, programming, treatment, and community involvement has become a priority and has led to offenders becoming productive citizens; therefore, reducing over incarceration. For the first time in Nashville history, fewer jail beds are being built. As he continues this effort, he is also passionate about decriminalizing the mentally ill and currently working towards criminal justice improvements for this population.
Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry’s office is responsible for performing the clerical duties (hard copy and electronic forms) for the operation of the General Sessions and State Trial Criminal Courts. A Nashville native, Gentry was elected three times to countywide public office. He was a Metro Council member-at-large before being elected Metro Nashville-Davidson County’s first African American vice mayor. He was reelected in 2003.
In 2007, Gentry was a candidate for Mayor and narrowly missed the run-off by less than 300 votes.
Judge Rachel L. Bell is deeply committed to the rule of law, applying it fairly, impartially and treating all participants in the court process with dignity and respect. Additionally, Judge Bell believes her involvement and visibility in the community at large OFF the bench is just as important as her commitment to service ON the bench because “justice does not stop at the courthouse steps.”
Derek Blake is the Chief Operating Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee in which he oversees 7 Club locations and a RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.
Gerald Brown, the Chief Executive Officer for Dismas, Inc. says “I hope to galvanize the community, enrich the lives our clients, and raise awareness about the work Dismas does in the community. I look forward to the opportunity to serve those seeking a second chance at life.”
Dr. Malinda Davenport-Crisp is Executive Director of Family Reconciliation Center, a nonprofit organization based in Nashville serving families impacted by incarceration since 1984. She earned a Ph.D in Clinical Counseling and Supervision in 2014 at Vanderbilt University, where her dissertation was on factors impacting ex-offenders during the critical reentry period. Her extensive experience centers on counseling ex-offenders and their families, and individuals who suffer from trauma, addiction/chemical and relationship dependency, and other life controlling issues. She is passionate about helping family members grow even under difficult, often tragic, conditions.
Gwen Hamer, MA, CPC is Director of Education and Development and Coordinator of The Title VI Compliance Office for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), where she works to develop educational programs which impact the continuum of mental health care in Tennessee. She has held key positions in her previous employment and at Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Mrs. Hamer earned her BS degree in Social Welfare from Tennessee State University and her Master’s degree in Social Gerontology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Harold Moses Love, Jr., State Representative, Dist-rict 58, graduated in 1994 with a Degree in Economics and Finance with a minor in Political Science from Tennessee State University, graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Divinity in 1998 with a Masters Degree in Theological Studies, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Administration at TSU. Since October 2002 he has been the Pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Nashville, TN. In October 2014, he was appointed and served a year as Presiding Elder of the South Nashville District of the A.M.E. Church. He is a 33° Mason and a Shriner. He is on the Board of Trustees for the TSUFoundation, the 18th Avenue Family Enrichment Center, Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR), and Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI).
Dr. Kevin Riggs has conducted ministry over 30 years; more than 25 of those years as a pastor. In addition to pastoral duties at Franklin Community Church, Dr. Riggs founded Franklin Community Development, an organization committed to be a conscious of the community.
Missy Wallace became inspired to study faith and work in 2013 after working in the nonprofit sector and corporate America for over 10 years each and realizing that work can be a part of God’s unfolding story if we allow him to guide it rather than our false idols. During academic divinity study, she wrote the proposal for the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work.