Given their high rates of experience with domestic and sexual violence, OFS provides female inmates a 6-week series of classes about domestic/sexual violence and sexual exploitation, along with information about red flags and how to get help in partnership with the Davidson County Sherriff’s Office.
Since 2017, OFS has provided 8 cohorts of classes for 118 participants.
Research shows that around 80% of female inmates have experienced or will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime. Unfortunately, our data from RISE was able to confirm these high rates of victimization within our program.
Quotes from RISE participants:
- “Until now I hadn’t realized that I had never been in a healthy relationship.”
- “I like the fact that I learned that I do have an abusive relationship. And I also have learned what I thought was ok is really not ok.”
- “I liked that I learned something new. It was hard to realize that Ive been sex trafficked.”
- “I like finding out what’s healthy and unhealthy in relationships and open discussions. Hard talking about things that have happened in the past.”
- “I feel like I am more informed about what is or isn’t ok sexually. Also consent is hard to talk about because I realize I wasn’t always consenting.”
- “I liked the fact that its broken down about sex trafficking and about rape… It was hard to accept the fact that my boyfriend really had raped me at times. I learned that in this class.”
In 2019, RISE received the award for the Most Innovative Domestic Violence Program from the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
RISE had to temporarily pause when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Davidson County Sheriffs Office to no longer permit outside volunteers from entering their facilities. However, OFS and DCSO have been able to partner to offer the class virtually starting in 2022.
If you are interested in learning more about OFS’s inmate education work, please contact our team at OFSHighRiskTeams@jisnashville.gov.