IDS Donates $100,000 Towards Inmate Education-Focused BEST Program in Nashville, Tennessee

Co-founders of IDS, GTL’s education services subsidiary, invest back into local program that proves educating inmates can reduce recidivism rates


Reston, Virginia (PRNewsWire) – March 13, 2017GTL an innovation leader in correctional technology and payment services solutions for government, today proudly shares that Innertainment Delivery Systems, LLC (IDS) co-founders Dr. Turner Nashe and his wife Phylanice Nashe, J.D., and now part of the GTL family, have personally made a $100,000 donation to the Building Entrepreneurs for Success in Tennessee (BEST) Program, which is supported by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC).

The Nashes’ donation was presented on Friday, March 10, at a BEST celebration event. “On behalf of the BEST volunteers, its advisory board, and especially the BEST program participants (past, present and future), we thank the Nashe family for their continued support and encouragement,” stated Karen Vander Molen, BEST Program Director. “Our program has been blessed by the long-term involvement of Turner and Phylanice Nashe. From the provision of tablets and a charging cart from IDS in 2014 to the creation of the $25,000 BEST Microloan Fund in 2015 and now this generous gift, the Nashes’ support of BEST has come from their passion for empowering inmates with education to reduce recidivism rates.”

Since 2014, IDS tablets have been used to deliver entrepreneurship education behind bars using 21st-century technology. “Their generosity has already caused lives to be forever changed as their donations help grow the BEST program, which educates and empowers future returning citizens currently behind bars, equipping them with tools to build a better life through personal transformation and entrepreneurship education,” added Karen Vander Molen. “To date, 17 BEST graduates have been released from incarceration and not a single one has returned to prison. Those who have experienced relapse have sought treatment.”

“Phylanice and I are grateful for the opportunity to support Karen Vander Molen and BEST with this donation to further the successes of the program,” said Dr. Turner Nashe, co-founder of IDS and Senior Vice President of Education Services at GTL. “We are hoping to set an example for others in the industry who recognize that empowering an inmate with education is the best way to ensure they will not repeat offend. We are happy to set the example by putting our funds towards such a successful program.”

The BEST program is in its third class or ‘cohort.’ The first cohort started with 22 men, the second included 17 women, and the current class is made up of 17 women. A wide variety of volunteers, professors, community leaders, business people, and professional speakers regularly engage to share their entrepreneurial stories with program participants. The first three months are spent on character development to get heads and hearts in the right place, and then students get to develop their own business plan. In partnership with a local university, a class of students visits the prison each Tuesday to consult with BEST program students on their business plans. Along the way BEST program participants learn Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and financial literacy and business education principles. A major part of BEST is its public speaking curriculum. Students learn how to create and deliver a speech, practice effective public speaking and more importantly, learn how to listen. Each student must give 10 speeches.

GTL recently acquired IDS with its industry-leading focus on reducing recidivism rates through expansive educational opportunities to inmates. “The Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s support of the BEST program is setting an example, nationwide, that education in the corrections industry is the most effective method to reduce recidivism rates,” concluded Dr. Turner Nashe. “By becoming a part of GTL, we now have the manpower, technology, and tools we need to promote these kinds of ‘best practice’ education initiatives to correctional facilities across the country. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the success of local programs like BEST make what we’re working towards every day worth the effort. We will continue to fight the good fight on behalf of those who are seeking to better themselves and their lives. Education is the ultimate empowerment tool that you can give a person.”


About GTL
GTL leads the fields of correctional technology and government payment services with visionary solutions and customized products that integrate seamlessly to deliver security, financial value, and ease of operation for its customers. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides services to 32 state departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and 73 of the 100 largest city/county facilities, including 39 of the top 50, which comprise 1.9 million inmates nationwide. To learn more about GTL, please visit or our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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IDS Donates $100,000 Towards Inmate Education-Focused BEST Program in Nashville, Tennessee

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.