Probation officers give and deliver Thanksgiving boxes
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) – Just in time for Thanksgiving, probation officers from the Tennessee Department of Corrections in Davidson County delivered boxes of food from their own paychecks to residents of the neighborhoods they serve in the purpose of strengthening the community.
The same officers who donated the Thanksgiving boxes spend their days making sure offenders under their supervision meet the conditions of their release. They perform home checks, make office visits and create employment opportunities for offenders under their supervision. As of Monday, 87 probation officers in Davidson County are supervising 3,870 offenders.
“Yes, we supervise offenders on probation and parole, but in the meantime we are also a resource for families in need,” said Niresha Atkins, director of Tennessee Department of Corrections Probation and Parole District 40.
She said that once a month the goal of probation officers is to make it easy for the community to access them: “We’re just trying to let them know, ‘Hey, we’re not just the bad guys… but we are here to help those in need. ‘”
About 20% of Atkins District probation officers donate to community members in need through their program once a month.
Atkins explained, “Sometimes it’s just a donation. So people gave money to go in the baskets or to bring the items. And like I said, our main goal is to always give back to those in need. “
For Thanksgiving, the donations were fully microwaveable Thanksgiving meals.
“Canned turkey, you have canned ham, you have sweet potatoes, you have marshmallows, you have dressing, you have cake, whether it’s chocolate or strawberry, you have corn, you have have brown sugar, so everything that makes your basic Thanksgiving dinner “Atkins detailed.
Beyond delivering the Thanksgiving box, the monthly mission of District 40 probation officers to connect with community members in need is to strengthen the community.
Atkins said: “Most of the time when they see our cars marked… pull over at the house and you know they think, ‘Oh, something is going to happen. And so when that situation, when they see our brand of ours rise up, it’s, ‘Hey, here we are, you know, we’re not Santa Claus, but we’ve got a present for you.’ “