Please join us in congratulating Mackenzie Mayer in her new role as TND’s Director of the Criminal Justice Division. The Next Door has been committed to serving women re-entering society after being in jail / prison since the ministry came into being in 2004, and that program continues today at our Chattanooga facility. Since 2010, East Tennessee’s correctional release center is a model program with a return rate of 1% and recidivism rate of only 15% (within 3 years). As an organization, we are very excited to see Mackenzie shine in this role as she leads this dedicated team and inspires staff and clients. Please enjoy hearing her share a bit more about how she came to know TND and how she has grown while working here!
“Hello to all!
My name is Mackenzie Mayer Dickson and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the new Director of the Criminal Justice Division for The Next Door. To introduce myself on a bit of a personal level, I am also an art-lover, avid amateur baker who loves Great British Baking Show, and big superhero nerd. I’ve even been known to play some Dungeons and Dragons upon occasion.
Ever since my early days as a brand-new social work student my passion has been serving marginalized women. A fellow student of mine in my Bachelor of Social Work Program interned at The Next Door in Nashville and as soon as I heard her talk about the life-changing things being done at TND I knew I wanted to work there.
I first began in the Freedom Recovery Community and quickly made my way to the Admissions Office, screening women for residential treatment at TND. As I served in this role, I realized I had a very specific passion for TND’s clients that came from jail and prison. Something about the resilience I saw in these women lit within me a new passion for criminal justice reform.
With that newfound desire to serve women exiting the justice system I jumped at the first job I saw at TND’s Correctional Release Center in Chattanooga. I relocated and enrolled in a master’s program here in Chattanooga and since that day I’ve been committed to providing necessary and life-giving trauma and addiction recovery services to the women who make it to our doors.
I am so humbled and honored to be chosen as the CRC’s newest leader and can only hope and persevere towards filling the very large shoes that will be left by Rebekah Bohannon. I can’t thank the Leadership Team and my fellow CRC staff for taking a chance on me and I will do everything in my power to serve the CRC with everything I have. We have an amazing team here in Chattanooga and I cannot wait to get started!”
To read more about the Re-Entry Program in Chattanooga, please visit the Chattanooga page on our website!