Richmond County Sheriff, Richard Roundtree, tells News Channel 6 "when a person is incarcerated, I don't think we should give up on that person."
Sheriff Roundtree says education is just as important to those in his jails as it is to the free public. In an effort to rehabilitate the offenders in Richmond County jails, he's implementing an inmate education initiative; making educational books available to them.
"We know from statistics that a large number of people who go to jail, no matter what offense, at some point get released. They get released back into society," he explains.
Sheriff Roundtree says educating inmates could transform them into productive members of society once they're released and reduce the number of repeat offenders. And the idea has a lot of support in the community.
Brianne Hemingway, an Augusta resident, says "if they have no hope of coming out and getting back to society, then what kind of life are they going to lead behind bars just sitting in a cell."
Peter Edward, also an Augusta resident, adds "at least they'll have something to take with them when they get out and get back in the work force."
The Sheriff says educating inmates is a key component in successfully rehabilitating the person as a whole
"Once that person is released, we want that person to be a better person than when they went in. Hopefully, they have learned something, they have paid their proverbial debt to society and now they come out wanting to be a productive member of society," Sheriff Roundtree explains.
Sheriff Roundtree says the books will be donated by people or organizations, and trial programs have been conducted. He says he expects to kick off the full program after moving into the new detention center in December.
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