Educare was founded by June and Jim McHenry in Franklin, Tennessee in 1998. Jim, a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and June, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, were asked by the Honorable Judge Lonnie Hoover and Honorable Judge Al Nations to create a batterers’ intervention program. Jim & June educated men and women who were involved in domestic violence cases. The program called “Eristic” which is Greek for quarreling, provided intervention for over one thousand men and several hundred women over the next eighteen years. During their work, it became evident that alcohol and substance abuse played a significant role in many domestic violence incidents. A substance abuse psychoeducation class was added to intervene & introduce individuals to a pathway to recovery.
In 2005, Jim decided to retire and June moved on to other ways of helping people. Tony Owens was completing his Masters’ in Social Work at the University of Tennessee and was asked by the McHenrys to carry on the mission & vision of Educare. Since then, Educare has expanded services to provide numerous types of programs and interventions to the citizens of Williamson County. Jim McHenry died in 2017. In 2018, Educare became a non-profit agency committed to fulfilling Jim’s hope that the Educare message be conveyed to all who suffer.
Educare’s message is best summed up in what Jim called the “1,2,3,4s”:
- I am powerless over people places and things.
- I cannot make anybody do anything they do not want to do without using force or trickery.
- The only person I can change is me.
- I can’t do that until I learn how.
Educare will advocate for sensible criminal justice policies in Tennessee and establish programs that offer healing and reduce harm to both victims and offenders.
- Restorative healing for victims
- Offenders who take responsibility for their actions
- Opportunities for offenders to repair harm through involvement with victims and communities
- Substance abuse recovery and mental health treatment
- Offender re-entry support that focuses on both the needs and strengths of the individual
- Public safety is a high priority and offenders with mental illness and substance dependency are carefully screened for appropriate inclusion in any recovery cour
- Community education and involvement
- Focus on the harms of the crimes and not just the rules that have been broken
- Harm reduction for victims and offenders
- Opportunities for dialogue, direct or indirect, between victim and offender
- Respect for all parties – victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community