Abigail Strait, Senior Policy Specialist at the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) appeared as a guest on the latest episode of Talking Second Chances with host Trevor White, Communications and Training Specialist for the Tennessee Office of Reentry. Talking Second Chances is a podcast that explores how Tennessee is reimagining its workforce by helping justice involved individuals prepare to successfully reenter communities across the state.

In their hour-long, in-depth conversation, Strait and White tackled a wide range of topics related to reentry, the adult justice system, and how data-driven solutions can improve the lives of impacted individuals and increase opportunities for success.

Strait traced CJI’s history with Tennessee reentry, from policy-focused initiatives to revise Tennessee’s laws to better match its goals to her current work with the team responsible for assisting with implementation of the resulting legislation. As CJI’s head of the state’s implementation work, Strait reviewed how her team, with the Tennessee Office of Reentry, collaborates with stakeholders throughout the state to help eliminate barriers to successful reentry.

Another focus of the interview was jail staff wellness. CJI has been working with another Tennessee agency – the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) – to promote jail staff wellness practices across the state. CJI and TCI provided trainings to select jail staff to provide support for their peers as they address work-related and personal stressors and pathways to improve mental health and well-being.

Strait and White return regularly to collaboration as the key to ongoing success. “If we can share resources together and collaborate,” Strait said, “that makes it a lot easier.”
To listen to the complete podcast, follow this link.