Sheriff Department Finds Ways to Better Inmates’ Lives
Offering New Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Programs
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department has launched a new program to help inmates struggling with addiction and set them up for success outside of jail. Working with leaders of Oxford’s Alcohol Anonymous group, the Sheriff’s Department now provides state-approved alcohol and drug programs aimed at giving inmates the foundation they need to overcome their addiction and to work with people.
They learn these tools through peer support groups and each inmate has a sponsor they can talk with if they are struggling to finish one of the steps.
“If we can give inmates a starting point to fight this disease of addiction, we hope that they can continue working towards recovery,” says Sheriff Joey East. “Whether that’s going into rehab, finding an alcohol and drug counseling group, we want inmates to be successful when they leave.”
All nonviolent offenders can apply to join the program. For each month that they participate, they receive 10 days off of their sentence. Currently, the class has had 13 inmates, many of who will continue their program when they are released from the jail.
“This program creates a support group for people,” says Johnny McDonald, Jail Administrator. “It creates a safe space for them to talk, learn from others’ experiences and have people to lean on.”
As the success of the program continues, the Sheriff’s Department will continue providing more classes for inmates wanting to fight their addiction and better their lives.