Ken’s Comments:

 

GOD Bless “Sheriff Bucky”! I have just emailed him a “stick to it, way to go!” message – below. There will be bad apples in ANY program, but this Sheriff is on the right course and should continue to fight for this program. He sees [why I started our Church Reentry Program] that church is a good place for ex offenders to be, for many reasons.

This guy is a bright light in a world of darkness known as prisons. He knows that most inmates WILL be released (about 96%) and it helps us to help them.

My email to the Sheriff:

Shaeriff Rowland,

Keep up the great work. Every day – EVERY day – I see an article about or I am told about some prison official who just doesn’t get it [that is expressing it very kindly@ 😊]. Clearly you do, and I salute you for your common sense and your efforts to reduce recidivism with your Church Work Release program and all you do.

Stick to your guns! That one woman who commented is soooo typical. She does not realize that a “convicted felon” very well may be sitting next to her in church, and she just does not know his/her past.

You are a bright light and a beacon of hope for the many inmates who DO want to change their lives. You’re making a difference, Bucky! 😊

http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/maury-county-sheriff-stands-program-allows-inmates-attend-church-go-bucky-go-kra/ – Maury County sheriff stands by program that allows inmates to attend church – “Go, Bucky, GO!” kra

My signature block.

 

 

Excerpts:

 

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A controversial program at the Maury County jail is now on hold after an inmate was caught smuggling drugs and tobacco into the facility. The program is called Church Work Release, and it allows inmates to leave the jail and go to church, wearing civilian clothes with no one guarding them.

News 2 has obtained surveillance photos that show prisoners leaving the jail and walking around one of the participating churches. In the photos, the men are dressed in street clothes and there is no one supervising them. Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland told News 2 the program is designed to help inmates cope with being on the outside.

“There are folks back here who are rotten to the core, and they are where they need to be, but there are folks who in days are going to be released, and I want to make sure we do all we can,” he explained.

In 2014, Sheriff Rowland ran on a campaign of prisoner rehabilitation. By December 2016, Rowland had initiated the Church Work Release program. The program is described by the department as a religious-based work re-entry program. “Inmates are checked out by spiritual mentors who have been vetted through our jail chaplain and have been volunteers in our facility as mentors or program leaders and has completed TCI training for volunteers,” Rowland said.

He continued, “Our goal here at the Maury County Sheriff’s Department, whether on the street or in the jail, is to reduce recidivism, to leave folks better than we found them.”

From December 2016 until this past June, the department said 75 prisoners have been released from the Maury County jail and taken to a half dozen participating churches. “I believe they truly want a change in their life,” the sheriff told News 2.

The inmates are not under guard and they are not accompanied by an armed deputy. Instead, Rowland said the inmates are escorted by a spiritual mentor who has taken some state sponsored corrections courses.

“We are trying to make a safer community,” Rowland said.

Sheriff Rowland maintains there are many good people in his jail.

“We will invest in them to change that way of thinking,” he said. “Ninety percent of the people in this jail – they are good folks. They have addiction problems, drugs or alcohol. They get clean, and they say they don’t want to be here, I’m not coming back. I think they truly want a change in their life, and I believe it starts here.”

According to Sheriff Rowland, to qualify for his program, the inmates must be near the end of their sentences and have no disciplinary issues.

The sheriff also said the program was temporarily suspended after one inmate, Forrest Voorhees, went to church and was then caught smuggling drugs and tobacco in the jail.

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