CEO Bettie Kirkland, has led Project Return for 10 years. Founded in Nashville in 1979, Project Return is a Tennessee nonprofit dedicated to helping people successfully return to the community after incarceration and avoid recidivism. It has helped thousands of men and women find employment and establish stable lives, all while maintaining its inclusive, productive relationships with its program participants, employment partners and supporters. In 2021, Project Return program participants had an 82% job acquisition rate with only a 13% recidivism rate compared to state and national averages exceeding 50%.
When Project Return, recently opened a new office in Chattanooga, the milestone was celebrated with a reception featuring these remarks its CEO.
“Our mission is to provide necessary, impactful reentry services for our program participants who have chosen to improve their own lives and communities,” said Kirkland. “Our decision to expand our services to Chattanooga was inspired by the strong support we received from local leaders, including state legislators, the city and county mayors’ offices, and the business community.”
Hear Bettie Kirkland discuss the harsh reality that people face when they are released from incarceration as well as the benefits of second chance hiring in addressing racial inequity.
1. Who are Project Return participants?
2. How does the work of Project Return contribute to the community?
3. What role do Project Return’s social enterprises play?