Success Stories


david-elkins.pngAs the youngest in a loving and caring family, it took David years to return to the values that finally brought him to the purposeful life he now lives. At 17 years old, he was incarcerated for the first time and for the next thirty years David lived the cycle of crime and addiction.  While incarcerated, David began working for prison industries in 1987 where he began developing good work patterns until his release in 1991. While out, David had a purpose until he experienced devastating losses that led him back to a life of serious substance use and violation of his parole. When he returned to prison in 2003, he returned to the TRICOR farm where he actually learned and developed skills in TRICOR job training and life skills. He was influenced by the staff as he learned how to prepare for a life outside the prison and address the emotional walls that he had constructed. He identified gaps in his employment readiness and the classes taught him what he needed for long term success. 


David left prison in 2005. For the last 7 years, he has used his experiences from prison, TRICOR and his faith to work with other Offenders.  David has demonstrated all the TRICOR values in his transformation. He is a promoter of change and of TRICOR and TDOC. He works with men and women who are either incarcerated or have been released. He helps others to grow and achieve and move toward self-sufficiency.  By sharing his example, he hopes that some people may not take the number of years he needed to make his changes. 


David has participated in learning activities in the community including the two-day Offender Workforce Development training. David has volunteered his time and care for others for many years. David is now the Director of a program where he continues to Lead by Example every day. He continually gives away what he has learned, earned and experienced to help others to develop, grow and transform. 


David was the guest speaker during the 2012 TRICOR Employee Meeting. He talked about how TRICOR has the opportunity to make the most significant impact on incarcerated men and women through the work site supervisors. TRICOR supervisors spend an average of six hours per day with Offenders and it is here that the difference is made. David told TRICOR employees that he, along with other Offenders, were treated with respect, and considered not just another number. TRICOR provided an environment where people believed in his worthwhileness. This example has lead him in his journey to help others.



Sandy was incarcerated three times for felony theft. According to Sandy, “if I had an alcohol or drug abuse problem, then I could have able to understand my behavior and what needed to be changed. But dependency on others was not easy to see.”  


Transformation began at the Tennessee Prison for Women (TPFW) in 2003. While at TPFW, Sandy became aware of TRICOR. She knew that she had job skills to offer and wanted the opportunity to practice these skills, be productive and stick to her plans for change.


Sandy trained for three years as an inventory clerk in the distribution warehouse. When asked what made a difference, Sandy said “My supervisors made a difference. They coached, supervised and treated me with respect everyday, they treated me with respect.” Through their guidance, she stayed with TRICOR longer than she had any previous program or job while in the community. She learned to stick to her plans.


She participated in TRICOR Life Skills and worked with Molly, TRICOR Field Service Manager, in developing her release and employment plan. Sandy felt that Molly was always there and this made a difference. This is a universal comment made by many Offenders who work with transitional support employees. Sandy was released in 2008. She currently works full-time in an accounts payable and procurement position. Sandy says “TRICOR helped me to make a commitment, maintain that determination and stay to improve. In fact, it’s really simple, go to work, do your job and be honest,” all of which she does today.