NASHVILLE – The Department of Correction has taken a unique approach to reaching out to inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because visitation at all state prisons has been suspended since March, TDOC has partnered with the 4thPurpose Foundation to bring visitation back–via video messaging.  The outreach, called Visitation 2.0, features actors, comedians, singers/performers, motivational speakers and families of incarcerated loved ones with messages of encouragement.

Four episodes of the digital series have already been distributed to jails and correctional facilities across the country, including all TDOC’s facilities. Commissioner Tony Parker said the department was pleased to partner with the 4th Purpose Foundation to make the video series available.  “Our agency has also taken steps to ensure inmates maintain communication during this time by offering free telephone calls as well as launching a 24-hour information line for families to gain information about their loved ones.”

The video series was produced by Josh Smith, Founder of the 4th Purpose Foundation who was himself formerly incarcerated.  “Each episode aims to deliver an uplifting message for incarcerated men and women and the families impacted by incarceration,” Smith said.  “The effort that went into this initiative comes from my own understanding of what it’s like to be isolated from family and friends. It is meant to show everyone affected by incarceration during these uncertain times that they are not being forgotten and people still care.”

The series features messages from artists CeCe Winans, Michael W. Smith, Common, Hillsong and Zach Williams as well as pastors T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren, Ambassador Andrew Young, and cast members of Duck Dynasty.

To view the full TDOC post, click here.