Sheriff Mike Neal is excited to see the first graduates of the new re-entry programs which include adult education and substance abuse prevention now being offered at the Rhea County Justice Center.

“For years now I have been trying to organize a program to better the lives of those that enter our facility,” stated Sheriff Neal.

“Since opening our new Justice Center we have established Re-entry Programs that are designed to help inmates that may be struggling with addiction, numerous job readiness classes, anger management and GED classes to help give them another chance at life once they are released.”

The new Rhea County Justice Center has classroom space for approximately 30 inmates to receive evidence-based programs.  These programs are designed to help them with addiction, provide educational opportunities, and give them the skills need to succeed in society and reduce the chance of returning to jail.

Since opening, in March of 2021, Adult Basic Education and Celebrate Recovery, a faith based 12-step program, is available to inmates. Approximately 10 male and 20 female inmates are participating in weekly Celebrate Recovery classes.

Those that are in the program will have access to, Anger Management, Parenting, Substance Abuse and Relapse Prevention. Upon completion of assessments and evidence-based programming inmates can be connected to local employers for employment opportunities.

Since the program has begun, 18 inmates have graduated their job readiness classes and 16 have graduated their relapse prevention courses.

Funds from grants, support from community organizations and local employers has provided resources for the programs implementation.

This grant is imperative to establishing these much-needed services for our inmates, equipping them with both soft skills and hard skills to empower them to be successful upon release from custody.

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