Inmate Services

The Sheriff’s Office has community partners that offer a variety of programs designed to provide inmates with the opportunity to  improve basic life skills and assist them with re-integration into the community.  The goal of these programs is to reduce recidivism rates.

Unless court-ordered, these programs are incentives for the inmates and can be revoked at any time for disciplinary reasons.

Life Skills

Inmates explore personal needs that will exist upon re-entering the community and set goals towards meeting these needs.  Standard topics include SMART goal setting, employment skills (finding/keeping a job, filling out employment applications, creating a resume, how to deal with difficult interview questions, how to gain job experience, how to build references, etc.), money management/budgeting, locating a residence, developing and maintaining positive and constructive routines, etc.

Victim Awareness/Empathy

Inmates examine the beliefs that have led them to justify their past actions; they discuss ways they have rationalized their destructive choices and minimized their effect; they look at how lack of accountability   increases one’s chances of re-offending; they look at the connections between thoughts and feelings and what it means to be a victim and what it means to suffer a loss; they explore how they view the rights of other people; they explore what has influenced their current destructive behaviors; they discuss criminal thinking/mentality and how that affects behaviors.  The “Ripple Effect” is discussed in detail which helps an inmate understand who his/her victims are and that it extends beyond just the immediate victim.

Substance Abuse Awareness

This class covers a variety of topics related to educating inmates about substance use/abuse.  This class discusses the following topics (but not limited only to these topics):  categories of drugs/substances, affects of various substances on brain/body, inmate’s history of addiction, helps each inmate identify usage triggers, affects of criminal thinking on substance usage, costs of addiction/substance use (both emotional and financial, and this class helps each inmate set goals related to his/her addiction.  Co-existing mental health disorders are also discussed as part of these classes.

Anger Management

This class helps each inmate take an introspective look at his/her own patterns of anger and discover what makes them angry and how and why they communicate the way that they do.  Anger Management class discusses the identification and understanding of true feelings rather than dismissing negative emotions as anger.  Anger management plans are worked on with each inmate.  Anger triggers are identified by each inmate.  Each inmate is challenged to examine their exposure to anger as a child and how that affects them as an adult and how it affects how they deal with angry feelings as an adult.

Houses of Healing

The Houses of Healing class is a class based upon the book Houses of Healing by the Lionheart Foundation which focuses on emotional healing and personal accountability.  Each inmate is given a book and assigned 2-3 chapters a class and given various tasks related to the chapters read.  This book challenges each inmate to explore his/her behavior history in an attempt to identify major influences and to take accountability for those actions.  Houses of Healing discusses the difference between verbalizing apologies and truly understanding and feeling remorseful for ones actions.

Parenting with a Past

A variety of parenting issues are discussed, including the importance of consistency, nurturing, encouragement and positive discipline.  Building and maintaining relationships with “ex partners” is also discussed in this class in addition to understanding the roles each parent plays in a child’s life (what a child needs from a mother and what a child needs from a father).  Working with inmates on ways to rebuild relationships with their children is also a priority of this class.  Goals are set with each inmate regarding their goals as a parent upon reuniting with family.

Inmate Educational Program

The Inmate Educational Program started in August, 2004 as an extension of the Crawford County Learning Center in Pittsburg.  The center is an alternative education program that collaboratively works with Greenbush Education Service Center and USD 250 to offer students a curriculum to earn a Pittsburg High School diploma.

This opportunity is offered to the inmates four times a week.  Their enrollment and attendance is voluntary.