Direct Services

Participatory Defense

We are the Nashville Hub of the National Participatory Defense Network, which consists of over 30 Hubs around the country working to shift the power in the court system to ensure our loved ones have “time saved” instead of “time served.” 

Free Hearts’ Participatory Defense Hub is a self-help and community organizing program in which people facing charges, their families, and their communities work to impact the outcome of cases and transform the landscape of power in the court system.

On a weekly basis, more than 50 families meet collectively with Free Hearts staff to better understand their cases and the role they can play to decrease time served by their loved ones. It’s a valuable opportunity to come together with other people impacted by the criminal justice system in order to share knowledge and resources, and to learn to navigate the system.

If you have a loved one who is facing criminal charges, you are not alone. Family and community involvement can dramatically change the outcomes of cases. For more information on Participatory Defense in Nashville, please call 615-854-0982 or reach out to us for support.

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Years Saved!

Since 2017, the efforts of the families and communities we work with have saved their loved ones a total of 1,171 years of incarceration. 

Inside Out

Inside Out is a 45 week evidence-based program in jails, prison and juvenile detention where incarcerated women and girls participate in 8 different certificate courses, working from the inside out to heal and advance their lives. We teach Anger Management, Parenting Inside Out, Leadership Development, Cooperative Business, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (4 Levels) and offer counseling, case management, and mentorship along the way.

Outside In

Outside In is a 10 week evidence-based program during school hours where students whose parents or siblings are incarcerated or deported work on leadership development and coping skills.  At the end of each school year we do a field trip for all of our students and visit a University and other engaging, educational, and fun locations.

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