Evidence Based Prison Program unveiled - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Evidence Based Prison Program unveiled

Warden Singleton Warden Singleton
Jimmy Trimble Jimmy Trimble
Christopher Smith Christopher Smith

It was a big day at Lee State Prison, as leaders cut the ribbon for Georgia's first Evidence Based Program. It's designed to help inmates turn their lives around.

"I'm changed; that's what it's all about -- evidence." Jimmy Trimble is one of the four hundred and fifty one inmates currently enrolled in Georgia's first Evidence Based Program here at Lee State Prison.

Inmates who want to leave the facility as a productive citizen enroll in the two year program which uses research based methods to improve offender behavior and provide future opportunities for the men.

"A lot of time we look at behavior and we judge people based on behavior, but we don't actually look at the cause of the behavior," said Artis Singleton Warden.  

The warden says that the purpose is to build the inmates up while they're inside the facility. There are four phases to the program. Throughout the phases, participants learn about themselves while also learning a variety of skills from learning how to speak Spanish to mechanics. "I did not know that I thought like a criminal until I took a class called MRT."

"We have a vision. We can be able to see something positive, we have vocational training classes to help us learn how to be better parents, how to be better connected with our families as well," said Singleton.

Participants like Christopher Smith appreciate the support from prison leaders. "It gives me a lot of hope in that someone actually cares."

Right now sixty percent of the offender population at Lee participate in the program. Leaders hope to reach one hundred percent this year.

The program started last summer.    The warden says his goals include continuing to train his staff and working to graduate the first class.

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