Last week, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Unit conducted multiple programs with Chesterfield County Public Schools.
An Inmate Outreach Program was administered to 8th grade Civics students at Elizabeth Davis Middle School on Monday and Tuesday. The program is held at a school’s request for Civics, Social Studies and Government classes. Inmates receive community service hours towards their MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy) class, which is offered through the office’s Jail Bridge Program. Deputies give a presentation about life in the county jail, and inmates share their personal story. At the end, there is a question and answer session made available to both students and faculty. This program has been a big success within the county and helps the students learn from someone else’s life experiences. The students are shown that not all individuals in jail are bad people. Some have made bad decisions but are trying to change their life for the better.
The 2017 Senior Class at L.C. Bird High School visited the county jail on Wednesday and Thursday after studying Jimmy Santiago Baca’s book A Place to Stand. The book is a memoir of his life before, during and after his years spent in prison. Students and faculty were provided a chance to go behind-the-scenes and witness life inside the Chesterfield County Jail. Their deputy guided tour of the modern facility focused on decision making and consequences. The tour was able to give them a visual understanding of the material they had just studied. The Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office receives many requests from schools that have participated in previous years and requests are also received as a result of participants sharing information about the programs with others.