SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) – “We owe those folks gratitude and we owe them the chance to get better,” Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin said.
Since taking office Jan. 1, Goodin has been busy, partnering the Scott County Sheriff’s Department with county leaders, as well as judges and prosecutors, to come up with a plan to make big changes at the jail. It’s about helping inmates find help with options like drug rehab and an education.
“We’ve got some inmates that are going to graduate with their GED,” Goodin said. “What we’re going to do after that is offer them some life-skills classes and hopefully transition them into a job so that way, when they leave here we don’t see them again.”
Around the community, the push is being welcomed.
Now, Goodin said he’s partnering with veteran services and programs in the county to ensure that if veterans are arrested, they’ll immediately make contact with the local VFW to help connect them with services. Getting them help right away, Goodin said, will combat recidivism from those who’ve served our country.
“We don’t want the veteran to come back to jail,” he said. “We want them to be cured of whatever their problem is, make sure that their problem is taken care of so that they can go back out again and be a productive citizen.” Goodin added that he’s grateful to work with the county prosecutors and judges to get this done.
Providing for these changes now can better prepare inmates for life once they’re released, helping benefit the county for years down the road.
“If we can give them the training to be successful, we know we’re not going to cure them all but we’re hopeful that a good percentage of those folks, we’ll never see at the jail here again,” Goodin said.
Goodin also said they’re open to other options on how to best help veterans in jail. They are inviting other veterans service programs and groups to reach out and find out how they can help veterans succeed and stay out of jail for good.
Another way Goodin said the department and the county are working together is by making improvements to the old part of the county jail. He’s been working with county leaders on plans to convert that section into a minimum security facility for inmates, which Goodin said will make needed improvements to the run down facility while improving living conditions for low-risk inmates.