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New Substance Abuse Program in Harlan jail

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email
Thirty inmates are going through rehab and getting their lives back on track while serving their jail sentence at the same time.

MGN Online

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A new program in the Harlan County jail is changing lives.

Dozens of inmates are going through rehab and getting their lives back on track while serving their sentence at the same time.

Thirty men are part of the Harlan County Substance Abuse Program in the jail.

The inmates to learn how to overcome drug and alcohol addiction and not use crime to support the habit.

"Helping me learn how to change my behaviors so when I do get out, I can better myself," said Jason Collett.

Jason Collett is one of the inmates who chose to serve his time in the program.

"Tired of the same old life, just stealing, getting high, robbing my family. Same old stuff and I got sick of it," Collett said.

For six months, the inmates live in the same large cell and do everything together. They live by the program's rules and hold each other accountable.

"We hope at the end of the six months, that the inmates have actually developed healthy choices. It helps them identify those triggers, those old behaviors and that they learn new healthy behaviors so that they can develop a healthy, sober, crime-free lifestyle," said Summer Chitwood, Program Administrator.

The program's four phases also include anger management, job training, and parenting classes.

"Making me do everything I should have did a long time ago," said Alvin Sydnor who is also getting his GED in the program.

"This is just a first step, and it's going to be a lifelong process, go back to work, be a father," said Herbert Vandergriff.

Directors say many of the inmates will get paroled after completing the program.

"Hopefully get a job. Live a good life and be a good member of society," said Collett on his plans once released.

Directors believe changing the inmates' lifestyles will improve the whole community.

"This program is benefiting Harlan County financially, but it's also benefiting these people with the things they learned, take back out to the county with them," said Lt. Daniel Howard, Harlan County Detention Center.

The Harlan County Substance Abuse Program (SAP) is on of 19 jail programs in Kentucky.

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