NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) – Friday was a monumental day for ten inmates at the Norfolk City Jail. They graduated from the Addiction Recovery Grant Program.
It was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for inmates dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is the first to offer this kind of treatment in Virginia.
An inmate said, “I haven't really accomplished much in my life. This is a big accomplishment, especially for me."
The Department of Criminal Justice Services awarded the $48,000 grant.
Ten men volunteered to be in the 3-month-program to tackle their mental health and substance abuse addictions.
"It feels good to be clean. I feel fresh. I feel fresh,” said Woodrow Mitchell.
The grant program isn't only benefiting the inmates, but also the public. Lieutenant Colonel Mike O’Toole said it’s going to save tax payers money.
"We are going to save the tax payers a lot of money. They won't be coming back here and that is great for us. Our goal is for individuals not to come back into our facility," O’Toole said.
Many of the inmates said they plan to head down a positive path and leave their struggles in the past.
“I want to be a better father. I want to be better,” explained Mitchell.
All ten men said they do not plan on coming back to jail ever again.
The grant program isn't over, another class with 16 inmates will start on Monday.