Wearing orange jumpsuits with their certificates of their fingers, detainees within the Jefferson County jail graduated Thursday afternoon from the county’s first Complete Opioid Abuse Website-Based mostly Program.
Smiles and laughter had been in abundance because the detainees, who had accomplished the 12-week faith-based reentry program known as Exodus, stuffed the multipurpose room within the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Grownup Detention Middle.
“It is without doubt one of the only applications within the state of Arkansas addressing the opioid epidemic with the usage of peer recovery-based companies is Exodus Life,” Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. stated. “By way of federal funding, offered by the Complete Opioid Abuse Website-Based mostly Program Grant, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Workplace sought the necessity to associate with Exodus Life to amongst many issues, help in lowering the stigma related to people affected by substance abuse problems.”
This system is led by Myra Woolfolk, a UAPB graduate who has greater than 20 years of expertise in dependancy and correctional remedy programming and growth.
“Exodus is a nonprofit that was based in Little Rock that gives reentry, instructional and spiritual-based companies to the incarcerated and to neighborhood people,” stated Woolfolk, the group’s government director. “We deliver the companies to them that may ease the transition again into society, whether or not it has been substance abuse points or incarcerated-related conditions.”
The Exodus crew brings vitality and a private perspective to this system. A number of the members have been incarcerated themselves or been in restoration, or had a cherished one who has battled an dependancy.
Marguerite Taggart, a peer specialist for Exodus, has been in restoration for over 25 years. Out and in of the Arkansas Division of Corrections in her youthful years, Taggart finally modified her life.
She acquired an affiliate diploma of utilized science in paralegal research from Southeast Arkansas School, a bachelor of science in psychology diploma from the College of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, in addition to grasp’s levels in enterprise administration and human sources administration from Webster College.
In October 2020, she acquired a full pardon from Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Now Taggart dedicates her life by giving again to the neighborhood by sharing her story, volunteering at fundraisers, youth camps, drug courts, girls’s conferences, girls’s shelters and different areas letting the world know that restoration is feasible.
“I train the courses contained in the classroom like conquering chemical dependency, life expertise and tips on how to interview,” Taggart stated. “I train from the Search For Vital books with scripture out of the bible all through the lesson. I train the lesson and permit them to elaborate on the scripture and what it is saying to them.”
One after the other, every detainee stated what this system meant to them by reflection, poems and prayers.
“God sacrificed his son for us. He did not should do it,” stated Marlo Carter, who admitted he wasn’t spiritual earlier than this system. “I have been within the streets for 20 years. I am making an attempt to think about one particular person that will die for me–not one.”
Carter stated he had been shot 4 occasions, twice within the face.
“I used to be presupposed to be useless so I do know it is a God,” he stated.
Christopher Helms thanked Exodus, Sheriff Woods and the executive workers for serving to them attain for a unique future.
“They’re altering lives in right here,” Helms stated. “Not solely are they altering our lives, however our household’s lives and the folks we’re going to be round in the neighborhood.”
Joseph Foster stated this system taught him to know and love God and tips on how to overcome his dependancy.
Don Smith stated he had a non secular awakening. Emotional as he took the rostrum, Smith stated he now not was in a field.
“I’ve realized that I can step exterior the field and step over the boundary strains that stored me confined,” Smith stated. “By way of God and the Exodus crew, I am not the person I was, I am free.”
The graduates, wanting ahead to taking management again over their lives, acquired their certificates, handshakes and hugs from the Exodus workers and jail directors.
“Individuals ask me what the enjoyment of my job is. It is moments like this. That is the enjoyment of my job,” Woods stated. “You all live proof that this program works and the help system you’ll have alongside your journey that may all the time be obtainable to you, even if you depart these partitions.”
Woolfolk stated the academy, which is predicated on reentry, reintegration, and reunification, has given the detainees the mindset to succeed.
“We have interaction them in entrepreneurial actions to both begin their very own companies or make use of the strategies they should keep free,” she stated.
Within the subsequent two weeks, the group will start two extra courses for each women and men, which, Woolfolk stated, is on a voluntary foundation.
Inmate volunteers are not less than 90 days from their launch date and are non-violent, drug-related offenders.
“All they should do is join the category,” stated Woolfolk, who stated her group’s companies are funded by personal donors and grants which might be acquired from the state and federal authorities.
The graduates are urged to remain in contact with the Exodus program.
Taggart stated she will probably be contained in the jail providing peer help.
“I do know this program was a sacrifice and tough to get by,” Woods stated. “I am proud to have a good time this and acknowledge their achievements and their continuation to maneuver ahead after restoration.”
For extra details about the restoration program, go to www.Exodus.Life or name (501) 353-0347.
Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. on Thursday congratulates the primary graduates of the Complete Opioid Abuse Website-Based mostly Program who accomplished a 12-week reentry and drug rehabilitation course.
(Pine Bluff Business/Eplunus Colvin)