What programs are available during jail detention?

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Your question was edited for the purpose of clarity.

The answer to your question depends on the location of the jail as far as county, city, or state. It also depends on whether the detention facility is funded by the state government or the federal government.

Those factors left aside, most jail facilities have a good number of programs geared toward re-modeling the inmate and providing better opportunities for the individual. The jail model is meant for betterment, rather than for punishment. The assumption is that the main reason why the inmate landed in jail is precisely because of a general lack of guidance or knowledge. Therefore, programs are in place to guide the person into better citizenship through education.

It is important to specify where the jail is located and whether it is funded by state or central government because this latter fact determines how much money and liberty can be spent on different programs.

For example, in the state of Florida, specifically the county of Broward, the sheriff has dedicated a webpage to jail services (state-funded), but not every state nor county will provide such information nor will they get the same funding for the same programs. In this case, however, the sheriff shares that this jail facility offers the following:

  • pre-trial legal services
  • drug treatment
  • social, community, and ministry-based counseling
  • behavioral services (substance abuse and life skills)
  • Al-Anon /Teen-Anon

These are the basic programs often and usually available in most jails mainly because the population is often there for alcohol, drug, possession, robbery, and other offenses of the kind. When in place, the inmate will attend meetings either voluntarily or mandated, and will participate. In some cases the inmate is ordered by the judge to undergo an entire program before leaving the facility. In other cases, there is a negotiation for the inmate to complete a program in lieu of jail time, or to serve volunteer time or community service.

The drawback of these negotiations is that there is little to no personnel dedicated to keep up with volunteer hours, nor with community service hours per say. Even when you ask anyone who has ever been arrested and ordered community service (and this is a fact, not an opinion) there will be a 100% chance that they will tell you that they did less than half of the court-mandated time. Therefore what needs to happen is that the justice system gets a clue and puts a system in place where inmates and former inmates ordered to do time in the community are held accountable for their time, and (by default) for the crime that they committed, no matter how big or small.

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