According to GRAAB Executive Director Tanya Southerland, the increased focus of many local agencies is recidivism, an increased focus on rehabilitating individuals who are re-entering the community after previous trouble.
GRAAB has partnered with agencies like the Behavioral Research Institute, the Bradley County Juvenile Court and Bradley Initiative for Church and Community that offer recidivism programs and mentioning programs to provide a foundation for someone re-entering the community as well as preventive mentoring for area youth.
“We are also really wanting to expand our connections within the faith-based organizations and churches. We are looking for more contacts and are open to suggestions,” stated Joyce Vanderpool, GRAAB’s program coordinator.
One of GRAAB’s larger projects is launching a faith-based community watch program in sectors 1 and 2 of the city called FACES.
Other plans include information distribution and an increase in public awareness, especially among elderly, on the dangers of misuse of prescription drugs as well as how to keep them medications safe.
Prescription drugs are some of the fastest growing and most dangerous abused drugs in the nation and acts like the Secure and Proper Drug Disposal Act of 2010 are designed to help keep unused medications off the street.
As apart of the Secure and Proper Drug Disposal Act of 2010 local law enforcement and nonprofits run Drug Take Back Days that allow people to safely and securely dispose of there unused and unwanted medications.
According to Vanderpool, the last Drug Take Back Day in Bradley County was highly successful and plans are being discussed to increase the frequency and length of area take back days for greater impact.
“We have an excellent relationship with our local law enforcement and they are dedicated to keeping drugs off the streets,” said Vanderpool
The GRAAB Coalition is funded through the Tennessee Targeted Crime Reduction Grant and the Drug Free Communities Support Program. Which help the organization partner with law enforcement and other community entities to provide support in the area.
Both Vanderpool and Southerland said GRAAB is looking for more community partners, especially in faith based sectors, and encourage people to think about participating in the coalition’s board.
“We would actually really like to get some local youth on our board of directors and working committees. We value the input of the younger generation,” said Southerland.
For more information about GRAAB or to become involved with the organizations people are encouraged to call 423-472-5800 or visit them at www.graabcoalition.com.