NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A Davidson County woman who says she used to hate offenders is now working to rehabilitate them.

Verna Wyatt has been a victim's advocate for more than two decades. She told The Tennessean that over time her focus began to shift toward preventing crime. She says she felt if victims could share their stories with offenders, it might help deter future criminal behavior.

Over time, she says her heart changed as she saw empathy, even tears, in the eyes of some offenders as they listened to how crimes impacted victims.

Now, Wyatt says she is spearheading more victim impact classes and organizing a statewide coalition of crime victims and survivors who can speak at correctional facilities about the impact that different crimes have had on their lives.