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Inmate Programs

Inmate Programs

Below is a listing of the various inmate programs that the DCSO provides. For additional information on inmate programs, visit our facility pages.


Davidson County Sheriff’s Office provides State Licensed Alcohol and Drug Treatment to offenders housed at the Correctional Development Center.

The New Avenues program is located at the Correctional Development Center- Males (CDM). It is the oldest of our licensed treatment programs and was established in 1990. This is a 45-day program to combat the growing problem of substance abuse within the criminal population. Counselors work one-on-one and in aggressive group therapy to prepare inmates to return to society drug-free. This program puts great emphasis on the Re-Entry process in hopes of bridging the gap from incarceration to successful transition back into society.

The Healing Journey program is located at CDF. This program was licensed in 2008. This is a 45-day program to combat the growing problem of substance abuse within the criminal population. Counselors work one-on-one and in aggressive group therapy to prepare inmates to return to society drug-free. In an effort to reduce recidivism, this program is designed to be gender specific to the needs of the female offender. The Healing Journey program puts great emphasis on the Re-Entry process in hopes of bridging the gap from incarceration to successful transition back into society.

S.A.V.E. (Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort) Program

SAVE Program

S.A.V.E. is a certificated batterer’s intervention program. The goals of the program are to:

  • Educate clients on how their behavior has affected those around them, how their behavior is harmful, and the lasting impact that the behavior has.
  • Educate clients how to learn from past events and the benefits of changing their behavior.
  • Educate clients on how to identify abusive behavior, and learning new/non-harmful ways of expressing emotions and thoughts.
  • Accepting responsibility and accountability for actions

SAVE for the incarcerated offender is six weeks in length and located at CDM.

P.A.W.S. (Pets Adopted Will Survive)

PAWS Program

The PAWS program is an innovative program developed by Sheriff Daron Hall in 2001. PAWS is a collaboration between the DCSO and Metro Animal Control Center (MACC). The inmates get an education in animal behavior and training, while assisting in the day to day functions of animal control. This program helps to foster empathy and trust between the animals and the offenders.

Education Program (Adults)

Adult inmates may attend more than 30 classes per week in subjects such as basic literacy, English as a second language, GED, and art. The 12 teachers who conduct the classes have more than 230 years of combined experience.

Technology offers an exciting new opportunity to educate inmates. Computer software called “Invest Learning” provides a wide range of instructional programs in many of the same subjects taught in classes. Even more, working with “Invest Learning” increases literacy among inmates, develops their senses of personal motivation, and better equips them to find a job after release.

The DCSO sponsors graduation for GED recipients twice a year.  83% of the program’s graduates get jobs and continue their education following release.

Work Release

The Educational/Work Release program operated by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, out of the Offender Re-Entry Center, provides inmates in the program the opportunity to be gainfully employed, or to continue in educational or vocational training. The program is designed to increase community protection by providing offenders with the opportunity to change themselves and those conditions that brought them to jail. Participants will have the opportunity to provide financial aid to their dependents, or to accumulate financial savings for use upon release. Participation in the program will increase awareness of personal responsibilities, and teach self-respect that comes from self-support and personal accomplishments.

The Offender Re-Entry Center provides a setting promoting positive social behavior through mentoring, employment, programs, and counseling. Work Release participants who have demonstrated successful participating while at the Offender Re-Entry Center may qualify for the Day Reporting program. This program allows the inmate to live at home and continue to work in the community. It serves to reduce the jail population.

Target Population:

  • Adult offenders sentenced to a least 30 days up to 18 months of an active sentence in the custody of the sheriff.
  • Probation violators
  • DUI first offenses
  • Child support and enforcement violators

Criteria: To qualify for consideration, an inmate must:

  • Be in the custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Be within one year of the projected release date, excluding any sentence reduction credits given to felony convictions.
  • Meet all sentencing percentage requirements.
  • Be clear of outstanding warrants, wants, holds, or pending charges.
  • Have documented verifiable employment, or is willing to seek employment within 30 days of approval.
  • Have reliable transportation, if needed, to and from the workplace (inmates are not permitted to drive to/from the Offender Re-Entry Center).

The screening includes a review of the inmate’s criminal history, physical and mental health, substance abuse, employment, and educational history. The majority of inmates in the Work Release are placed at a judge’s recommendation.

To apply, contact the Work Release Coordinator at phone 615-862-8286, fax 615-880-1939.

Outside Work Program

The Offender Re-Entry Center’s Outside Work Program provides offender labor to several agencies including non-profit and Metro Government. The services provided are janitorial, landscaping, minor maintenance, and roadside cleanup, to name a few. These offenders also participate in special events such as set-up for Earth Day, and the Music City Marathon. The program provides an average of 4,500 labor hours weekly to the customer. The following agencies participate in the Outside Work Program:

  • Metropolitan Fire Department
  • Metropolitan Police Department
  • City of Berry Hill
  • City of Lakewood
  • Public Library
  • General Services Motor Pool
  • General Services Fleet Management
  • Sportsplex
  • Metro Parks
  • Metro Public Works
  • The Downtown Partnership
  • Fraternal Order of Police Youth Camp
  • Metro Animal Control

Outside Work Program

Services are also provided to Davidson County Sheriff’s Office facilities including:

  • Criminal Justice Center
  • Hill Detention Center
  • Correctional Development Center (Male)
  • Sheriff’s Administration Building
  • Civil Warrants
  • DCSO Training
  • DCSO Supply
  • Correctional Services Center
  • Sheriff’s Correctional Complex Maintenance

Education of Juvenile Offenders

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office’s education program for young offenders, provides a full curriculum of classes for bound-over juveniles in the adult jail. Classes, including physical education, are conducted five days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Each juvenile offender receives diagnostic testing upon entering the program to determine his academic level. Offenders can earn a high school diploma, prepare to take the GED exam, or increase their own educational levels.

The Sheriff’s juvenile education program has been evaluated by the Metro Board of Education, which provides a teacher for the program, and has been declared a model program for other jurisdictions to follow.

12-Step Programs for Substance Abusers

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are offered in all DCSO detention facilities.

Other Inmate Programs

Other Programs

Also offered are classes in parenting skills, wellness and nutrition, decision-making, and health-related issues.