Rehabilitation programs can help jail inmates succeed

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 25, 2018

The Pearl River County Justice Court offers several rehabilitation and educational programs designed to help inmates succeed once they are out of prison.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the jail has been providing a GED program to inmates for several years in conjunction with the Pearl River Community College, which provides the necessary funding and program assistance.

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Tucker said several local faith-based organizations send volunteers to the jail to teach a range of subjects, including Bible studies, and provide parenting and relationship advice.

As mandated by the state, the jail is also required to provide a drug and rehabilitation program to inmates who are incarcerated for controlled substance related violations.

Julie Flowers, jail administrator and instructor of the drug and alcohol abuse program, said the Mississippi Department of Corrections pays her $20 daily to teach the class.

Flowers said she would like to thank the volunteers who are part of prison ministries for their dedication and help in assisting these individuals. She said the goal of the programs is to provide the inmates with the tools they can use to improve their lives. 

“We deal with life skills and the whole picture of trying to help them understand where they went off track, and help them make rational choices,” Flowers said.

Jake Helveston has been dealing with a drug addiction problem for the past five years. As a participant of the substance abuse program, he said it has helped him stay spiritually, mentally and physically stable and it has given him a chance to reflect on the decisions he’s made in the past.

“It has given me time to understand myself …,” Helveston said.

Upon his release, he hopes to be able see his two daughters and obtain a degree in psychology.

Cameron Glaude, who is in his early 20s, attends the Drug Abuse Program and anger management program conducted at the jail.

After being incarcerated in October of last year, Glaude said he found it difficult to manage his anger, even from the smallest of things.

But during his time in the anger management program he has learned to cope with people, to be polite and to be respectful.

Glaude said he would like to go back to William Carey University where he was pursuing a degree in psychology and get back to playing basketball.