Local Pastor Does Jail Time

Joseph T. Wright wanted to know why so many inmates are released from jail only to return. So to find out, he was stripped of his freedom to search for his answer.

Everyday, men and women are booked into the Leon County Jail. But in Joseph T. Wright's case, he didn't do the crime but he wants to do the time.

"To dress like 'em, eat with them, interact," said Wright.

With permission from the sheriff's office, the missionary Baptist pastor booked himself into the jail.

"In fact, I felt closed in, dehumanized. So it's a bad experience emotionally," Pastor Wright said.

Pastor Wright's reason for his visit has to do with a disturbing cycle.

"Why is it (prisoners) feel the need to go back and forth, like a revolving door in and out of prison?" asked Wright.

Now safely back home in his sanctuary, Pastor Wright calls it a wonderful experience. He says a big problem is that for many inmates, jail is the better choice. Especially for those who are unemployed.

Another big shock for Pastor Wright was running into some of his former members who are now behind bars.

Wright says he now plans to work on a program to help inmates transition from jail to job.