Back on Track

The Leon County Jail is launching a new program aimed at preparing its inmates to enter back into mainstream society. The Leon County Jail is using motivational speaking to encourage the inmates to look beyond their past mistakes and look forward to a successful future, but that won't come without perseverance.

Before they walked into the room, many of these women say they had their doubts about what lies ahead beyond the walls of the Leon County Jail.

"I've been incarcerated for 15 months so I had a lot of hang ups and a lot of doubts about how to go about achieving the things I need to achieve as far as making a better life for me and my children," says Deshana Jackson, Leon County Jail inmate.

In the next month, these women will be released from jail, but they're not going at it alone. They have help from Dr. Brenda Jarmon of the FAMU Department of social work and jail officials who are leading them away from their past mistakes, encouraging them to make better choices.

"A lot of us, sometimes we need that extra strength and extra words of encouragement," says Shavona Daniels.

Dr. Jarmon shared her own personal stories of triumph over tragedy, stories many of the women say they could relate to and her success is just another motivation to write their own stories of victory.

"My goal becomes to help them refocus, rethink, redirect, re-channel their energy into believing that once they leave here, no matter how many times they get knocked down, they can get back up again," says Dr. Jarmon.

After the speech, these women say life beyond these walls may not be as doubtful as they once believed. The overall goal of the program is to not only help the inmates succeed in society, but to also reduce the rate of repeat offenses and re-imprisonment.

What does the future of the program hold at the jail?

The spokeswoman for the Leon County Jail says they'd like to invite Dr. Jarmon back to the jail, and possibly expand the program to the male inmates.