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NECX joins victims’ rights awareness walk

Administrators, employees and inmates in conjunction with the ‘You have the Power,’ (YHTP) and the Tennessee Department of Correction, joined at the track surrounding the administration building of the Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) Thursday to participate in a “No More Victims” walk, focusing attention on victims’ rights and the importance of working with offenders to change behavior and reduce recidivism.
“We are very excited about the Victim’s Walk and all the other activities to benefit victims that are going on in prisons across the state,” said Correction Commissioner Gayle Ray. “Exposing offenders to the traumatic effects of victimization can be an important breakthrough in their rehabilitation.”
Andrea Conte, First Lady of Tennessee and founder of YHTP, added, “You have the Power has advocated for victims for nearly 20 years. Our ‘No More victims’ walk is a collaborative effort with the Department of Correction to raise awareness on the part of the offender about the impact of his/her crime, with an aim of preventing future victimization.”
Inmates at Northeast Correctional facility and correction facilities across the state also show their support through financial contributions, educational programs, staff car washes, facility bake sales, and a poster/essay contest.
“We really appreciate Kevin Hampton and Patty Stephens for spearheading this effort,” said NECX Warden David Sexton. “There were some really good entries in the inmate poster/essay contest.” The winning contest entries, which currently adorn the entry of the administration building, attest to the immense talent of many of the inmates and the effectiveness of the training they are receiving during incarceration. Contest winners received vouchers for soft drinks, snacks, etc.
“For the first time in the history of the victim’s awareness walk, all the funds raised will stay in Johnson County,” said Kevin Hampton, unit manager Complex four & Carter Co. Annex, “and Johnson County Safe Haven, a local domestic violence shelter for women and their children, was chosen as the recipient of the funds raised in this endeavor.”
Richard Walsh, Safe Haven’s director, is much appreciative of the funds. “Our first priority is to get the victim out of the abusive home and into a safe place.” This often requires rent money, funds to establish water and electric services, and other incidental costs. “Although the shelter is funded by federal and state grant money, clients need many items we do not have,” said Patricia Main, legal advocate for Safe Haven. “We would love to be able to distribute items to help a victim get started in a new home.” Needs include non-perishable foods, toiletries, household cleaning supplies, bedding, towels, washcloths, and games and toys. “Financial donations are also needed for medical and legal emergencies and prescriptions for our women and children clients,” said Mains.
The funds raised will go towards helping with these costs. “It is an honor to be able to present this money to such a worthy organization,” said Warden Sexton.