FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Franklin County has been tormented by illegal drugs, especially meth.
Sheriff A.J. Sheriff A.J. Smith has been offering jail inmates the chance of turning their lives around through a drug rehabilitation program. rehabThe Fresh Start program was established in 2017 to help inmates kick their drug and alcohol addictions.
The goal is to prevent inmates becoming career criminals and give them a second chance once they are released from jail.
Former inmates Ashton Shiver have found the program to be a huge success.
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“When I first got there I was on drugs I didn’t really care about anything and I thought everyone was out to get me and I didn’t like anybody in jail, especially the officers, and I thought that I would just get back out of there and do even more things,”Shiver.
At 13 years old, Shiver was hooked on drugs. He had many run-ins with police over the next seven years.
He was 19 years old when he was sentenced to a year in prison.
Shiver said he thought once he got out, he’d go right back to using drugs and committing crimes, but that was not the case.
“The things they are showing you actually goes to life, your job, relationships, everything. And you set those things that they taught you, those steps, and the ways that they show you to better your life and you set those into your life and you know that is your picture from here on out,”Shiver. “You place that in front of you and take the steps and it really does help.”
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Shiver graduated from the one-year-long program and went to a rehab home where he currently works.
He continues to attend AA meetings and church.
Shiver hopes to one day be able to start his own business and help others who are struggling with addiction.
“More and more sheriffs who run jails are realizing that locking people up without any kind of programs or any kind of education or any kind of way for them to change their life is nothing but a recipe for them to get out of jail and commit more crimes,”Smith said.
Sheriff’s officials said they’re also helping people, who are not in jail, get into rehabPrograms available for free