The Community Affairs Unit
District Attorney General Allen’s promise to the community is to be “Tough on Crime, Smart on Prevention.” Upon taking office in 2014, she launched the Community Affairs Unit, which is an integral part of her administration.
The Community Affairs Unit provides a direct link between the District Attorney’s Office and the citizens of Knox County through outreach, education and collaborative partnerships. Together, we can build trust between communities, and, ultimately, prevent crime at its source.
For more information regarding the Community Affairs Unit, please contact Community Affairs Director, Emily Scheuneman, by calling 865.215.3736 or by emailing [email protected].
Community Affairs Unit Programs
The Speakers Bureau matches members of the District Attorney General’s Office with community groups, organizations and businesses who want to learn more about various aspects of the criminal justice system. Expert attorneys and victim/witness coordinators are available to speak at events for groups of approximately 15 people or more.
Suggested topics include:
- Child Abuse
- Criminal Justice Overview
- Cyber Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Driving Under the Influence
- Drugs and Narcotics
- Elder Abuse
- Gang and Hate Crimes
- Gun Violence
- Human Trafficking
- Identity Theft
- Juvenile Crime and Prevention
- Sexual Assault
- Victim Services
- White Collar Crimes
The Citizens Academy is held in the fall and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system. Participants learn about the specific roles of law enforcement, attorneys, and the courts, while being exposed to the inner-workings and complexities involved in prosecution. Citizens have the opportunity to practice what they have learned by participating in a mock trial, arguing a criminal case as prosecutors. In addition to the mock trial, assistant district attorneys present on a wide range of topics including Criminal Justice 101, the “CSI Effect,” the opioid epidemic, gangs, human trafficking, and other trends impacting our community. If you would like to be notified when the academy dates and application are available, please email [email protected] with your contact information.
High School Shadow Program
The Community Affairs Unit selects a number of high school students to shadow a variety of professionals involved in the criminal justice system during one week of the summer. The shadow program is designed for high school students who live in Knox County and demonstrate a strong interest in learning about the District Attorney General’s Office.
If you would like to be notified when the program dates and application are announced and available, please email [email protected] with your contact information.
Truancy Reduction Initiative – Attendance Reward Program
Each year, General Allen partners with a Knox County elementary school to reward students who achieve perfect attendance with a new bicycle and helmet. This program awards students who go “above and beyond” to be in school as a way to promote the importance of school attendance. Truancy and chronic absenteeism is an early sign that youth are headed for possible delinquent activity and/or educational failure, which can cause problems down the road, such as violence, relational issues, unemployment, adult criminality, and incarceration.
Do the Write Thing
District Attorney General Charme Allen serves as Knox County’s regional chair for Do the Write Thing, a program of the National Campaign to Stop the Violence. DtWT is a program that challenges students to examine the impact of violence on their lives. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students across the nation participate by making a commitment not to be involved in violence and to write an essay. The students must answer three questions in their essays:
- How has violence affected my life?
- What are the causes of youth violence?
- What can I do to reduce youth violence?
Two ambassadors are selected from each participating jurisdiction to attend a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. in the summer. Parents and teachers are invited to accompany the selected ambassadors. Additionally, the National Campaign to Stop Violence publishes and places a book containing the writings of all the national ambassadors in the Library of Congress.
To partner or participate, email [email protected].