The Inmate programming team leaders have interfaced with all of the volunteer team leaders offering their full support in coordinating inmate requests to participate in the programming services. Over 100 volunteers have donated over 2200 hours of their time to these programs. Truly these programs are a community effort to bring about change in our neighborhoods.
The volunteers provided such valuable services as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Men and Women’s bible study, Non-Denominational Church services, Catholic Church services, Library Services, GED Programming, Men’s A.A. Recovery programming, Easter Programs – Stations of the Cross Easter Celebration Christmas Program, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Women in Transition Through Support (W.I.T.T.S.) and more.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Division of Corrections currently offers one of the most extensive inmate programming curriculums found in Ohio’s County Jails, supported by a wide use of volunteers throughout the area.
Why is such programming critical to Lake County? A quick look at inmate demographics nationwide illustrates the problems we are faced with.
- There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in our prisons and jails today in the United States, as well as an additional 6 million persons on Probation and Parole. Totaled, that is more people than in college or above in the United States.
- There are 33% more mentally ill people in our jails and prisons today then there are in our mental hospitals. Further, 16% of people incarcerated in jail today have mental conditions
- 50-55% of all inmates in our jail and prisons have drug or alcohol addictions related to their crimes
- 9% of inmates nationwide were homeless in the last 12 months prior to their arrest
- Nearly 60% of those incarcerated nationwide cannot read or write
- Over 60% of inmates were unemployed nationwide at the time of their arrest
- This year over 600,000 people will be released from our nation’s jails and prisons … less than 10% will receive any type of treatment for their lack of education, mental health issues, and drug/alcohol addictions.
If we fail to address the major issues of drug/alcohol abuse, mental health, lack of education and homelessness we will be releasing back into our neighborhoods the same people who came to jail, with the same problems, only with increased problems associated with incarceration.
“Through the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry, federal agencies are working together to enhance community safety and well-being, assist those returning from prison and jail in becoming productive citizens, and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration. Because reintegration to the community after incarceration intersects with issues of health, housing, education, employment, family, faith, and community well-being, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies are focusing on the reentry population with activities that aim to improve outcomes in these areas.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
It is the philosophy of the Lake County Adult Detention Facility to return inmates back to society better then when they first came to us. If we can help send inmates back home who are able to deal with their mental issues, who can stay off of drugs and alcohol, and who can obtain a GED so they can get better jobs, then we will be able to make homes safer for their children; our neighborhoods safer for the entire community; and reduce the burden of financial assistance for local government.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. It is estimated that there are more than 114,000 groups and over 2,000,000 members in 180 countries. A.A. is a program of total abstinence. Members simply stay away from one drink, one day at a time. Sobriety is maintained through sharing experience, strength and hope at group meetings and through the suggested Twelve Steps for recovery from alcoholism. Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by a leader and two or three speakers who share experience as it relates to their alcoholism and their recovery in A.A. Some meetings are held for the specific purpose of informing the nonalcoholic public about A.A. Doctors, members of the clergy, and public officials are invited. Closed discussion meetings are for alcoholics only.
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early Fifties. The NA program started as a small US movement that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest organizations of its type. Narcotics Anonymous provides a recovery process and support network inextricably linked together. One of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA. These principles are the core of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program. Principles incorporated within the steps include:
- admitting there is a problem;
- seeking help;
- engaging in a thorough self-examination;
- confidential self-disclosure;
- making amends for harm done;
- and helping other drug addicts who want to recover.
General Education Development
What percentage of prisoners can’t read?
According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at a fourth-grade level, “meaning they lack the reading skills to navigate many everyday tasks or hold down anything but lower (paying) jobs.” Data supports that those without sufficient income earned by work are the most prone …Mar 16, 2022
Jail Treatment Program
In August 1993 the Jail Treatment Program was established to reduce recidivism related to chemical dependency (Drugs and Alcohol), as well as other related behaviors. Further, it was established to link dependent inmates to services intended to increase their chances for recovery through services such as mental health, anger management, and community-based rehabilitation programs. In November of 1994, the program admitted its first female client, representing a significant policy shift; this shift allowed the Lake County Jail Treatment Program to bridge a gap, to ensure that services were also available to incarcerated women.
Parent Café / Families of Promise
This program is for children with a parent incarcerated (or formerly incarcerated). The program helps the children with extra support, as well as the caregivers, so that they are not falling through the cracks. May times children and loved ones of incarcerated adults face a lot of stigma, or have trauma, or have extra financial needs. The ultimate goal of the program is to prevent the children from becoming incarcerated one day, since there is a high percentage of children who do when they have a parent who went to jail or prison.
When the reentry process is successful there are benefits for the community in terms of improved public safety. Correctional and criminal justice costs are reduced in the long run as offenders are directed away from reoffending to more productive work and civic contributions. Successful reentry is important not only to the futures of offenders and their families, but also to the well-being and quality of life of families and neighborhoods throughout Lake County.