About Our Founder

In just over a decade and a half, Josh Smith built a small service company into a $30 million enterprise with more than 180 employees. But for a 5-year period before that, he was incarcerated in a federal prison camp in Kentucky for his involvement in marijuana and cocaine trafficking.

Smith grew up in a single-mother household, lived in government housing, was removed from his home at age 11 due to abuse and was convicted of 10 felonies by the time he was 16. He entered prison at age 21 as an 11th-grade dropout with no plans to exit it any differently than how he entered.

Instead, he found redemption through God and was guided by several highly educated white-collar criminals who he was able to learn from. But all the books he read, studying he did and plans he made didn’t alter the reality of the world he was released into, one where ex-convicts are still punished by an onerous set of legal restrictions. Upon his release, the government housing his wife lived in was no longer available to them because of his status as a felon. He had to beg for his first job making $6 per hour.

Since exiting prison, Smith has spent the past 15 years actively involved in criminal justice reform in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and countries in Central America. Smith has supported programs that provide hope, training and reentry support for prisoners and their families who earnestly want a new life, including hiring and mentoring many felons. In June of 2019 he was named to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force.  He and his wife of 23 years, Tracy, are now driven to reshape the reality for offenders, from the time they enter prison through their re-entry.

Our Team



As the President of the Foundation, Mr. Parker provides guidance and leadership on national initiatives as well as work in support of corrections and the criminal justice system in Tennessee. Mr. Parker has more than 38 years’ experience in the field of corrections. He began his career as a Correctional Officer and rose through the ranks to Warden, Assistant Commissioner, and finally Commissioner. Mr. Parker was first appointed Commissioner in June of 2016 by former Governor Bill Haslam and was reappointed in January 2019 by Governor Bill Lee. Parker also currently serves as the President of the American Correctional Association (ACA). Mr. Parker earned an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Dyersburg State Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies with an emphasis in Homeland Security from the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. Parker resides in Union City, TN with his wife Misty and their three children, Madison, Mia and J’Coy.



Dr. Anderson served as an Assistant Warden of Programming, where her leadership included the development and expansion of prison vocational training programs, and the enhancement of the mental health, faith-based, education and reentry services (Louisiana Institute for Women). Her corrections experience also includes special projects at Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary). While at Angola, she studied the Reentry Court Workforce Program and worked with several local judges and Angola wardens to institute that same program in the women’s prison in Louisiana. Dr. Anderson went on to work for the former Angola Warden, Burl Cain, as the CCO of Global Prison Seminaries Foundation, an organization started by Cain to implement the prison seminary model throughout the US. She has authored 3 books (Lifeline Publications), several articles (Corrections Today) and many presentations (ACA, CMCA, and others) concerning prison reform and inmate rehabilitation. Dr. Anderson now serves as Research and Programs Officer for 4th Purpose Foundation.



As the Community Engagement Officer, Ms. Turner is responsible for researching initiatives, building relationships, and connecting people with the skills, tools, and networks necessary to effectuate positive change in America’s penal system. Although 4th Purpose’s purview is nationwide, as a Knoxville native Ms. Turner also works with the local community to promote 4th Purpose’s mission to make prison a place of transformation.  Ms. Turner’s research initiatives span multiple aspects of the prison system: preventative programs, sentencing, effective social services within prisons and jails, recidivism reduction, re-entry, and corrections staffs’ health and leadership.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, Ms. Turner worked at both the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and Knox County Sheriff’s Office with victims of domestic violence and child abuse.  Ms. Turner went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University and practiced civil litigation in Birmingham, Alabama before returning to Knoxville where she has continued to serve her community.

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