Inmates stress education to local kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Inmates stress education to local kids

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Its almost back to school time for several students in South Georgia.To celebrate a local church ministry held their first back to school bash for area children. But kids did more than just have fun they also got some life lessons.

It was a packed house today, as kids and adults filed into the Union Missionary Baptist church in Albany. But, it wasn't a church service they were there to see. Instead, young eyes were glued to inmates in handcuffs, and law enforcement officers.

"Men's ministry decided to get together and have a back to school bash for the kids where we would give away school supplies , feed the kids and also invited the sheriff out to talk to the kids and the drug task force, and give them some information about what would happen if they commit crimes," said Pastor John Severson.

"The kids see movies that show the inmates shooting basketball, lifting weights, coming and going on weekend passes things like that so we really wanted the kids to be impacted by this to hear from the inmates themselves," said Dougherty County Sheriff, Kevin Sproul.

Fifteen year old Kitras Thomas was one of the faces in the crowd. He says hearing about how the inmates have no control in their lives impacted him the most. "It makes you want make a difference and make sure you stick to education and do your best because no one can take your education from you and if you get your education you can go far in life."

"That's real life, these individuals that were here today really stated the truth and kids need to be exposed to the truth and be exposed to that and be exposed to the difference between entertainment and reality," said Dougherty County Sgt. Terron Hayes.

The sheriff says there are many meaningful aspects of his job, but stressing the importance of education to kids ranks at the top. "When you can deter a kid at this age from growing up as an adult and turning their life into a felon or a misdemeanor person costing you and I so much taxpayers money this is above it all, this just speaks volumes."

Currently there are 5 juveniles locked up in Dougherty County Jail and officers say they hope the numbers stop there.

Event organizers bought every student attending the bash a bag of school supplies to start off the new school year.

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