On Tuesday, Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), and its partners held the 5th annual Lifecycle Conference at St. James Missionary Baptist Church.
The Lifecycle Conference is the brainchild of DCSO Community Relations Director Thomas E. Hunter, Sr. Over five years ago, he had the idea of creating a day where local for-profit businesses, non-profit businesses, and the community could meet and discuss the needs of those incarcerated and to contribute to a successful transition from jail back into the community.
“When it was just a thought in a crazy person’s mind to try to put it together, Sheriff Hall poured the first seed into this conference and it’s been growing year by year,” said Hunter. When it first began, Hunter says he was first discouraged by the amount of participation, but thanks to the support and encouragement from Sheriff Hall, the conference has blossomed into a major event.
Sheriff Hall commended Hunter on his work with the Life Cycle conference.
“I was interested in trying to get someone connected the sheriff’s office to the community because we were good in our silo, but what we weren’t good at was trying to connect that to the community,” said Hall. “He’s done some incredible work connecting us to the community.”
The 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: 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: Dismas House, Nashville community bail fund; Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship; Tennessee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Davidson County Sheriff’s Office; Nashville Institute for Faith and Work; and I. C. Thomasson Associates, Incorporated. Interns provided by Congressman Cooper’s office were at each meeting taking notes to help with community follow up that will occur throughout the year.
Mayor David Briley was the afternoon keynote speaker.
The conference ended with a panel discussion of candidates running for State House District 54 and State Senate District 19. The panel was moderated by V. H. ‘Sonnye’ Dixon, the lead pastor at Hobson UMC, and questions were asked by Sheriff Daron Hall, District Attorney Glen Funk, and Kyle Mothershead, attorney.