The Newton County Sheriff's Office (NCSO) graduated four students from its first ever class through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program Friday, Nov. 16, 2018.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council awarded NCSO $62,670.00 to implement an evidence-based substance abuse treatment program back in March 2018 to assist in reducing drug abuse and recidivism. NCSO initiated the first RSAT class in August 2018, administering ninety (90) consecutive days of residential substance abuse treatment. Providing services through the Newton County RSAT program affords inmates the opportunity to be rehabilitated while incarcerated. The program teaches them coping skills and gives them the tools required to succeed and to live as law abiding citizens.
Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown is committed to more than just incarcerating a person for their crimes. He is even more committed and passionate about investing in the recovery and improvement process of those who have lost their way. Brown feels this program allows inmates to take the right step towards repairing their lives before reentry back into the community. he also understands that individuals who are suffering from some form of addiction have contact with law enforcement before any type of substance abuse treatment intervention. With that said, it is the hope of NCSO that this initiative will reach beyond the prison walls and back into the community. This first class to graduate has shown the program is truly beneficial and we expect nothing but great things to come from this substance abuse treatment program.
Guest speaker, James Johnson, who is also one of the RSAT facilitators, shared with the graduating class about his experience with a loved one who was incarcerated. The story truly touched home as each participant spoke highly of the program and their desire to succeed and not disappoint themselves or all who contributed to this milestone achievement. During the graduation, the inmates were allowed to wear professional dress clothing (donated by the community) and not the jail jumpsuit normally worn. This was done to solidify their new start as they prepare to be released back into the community. The Newton County RSAT program has partnered with View Point Health to offer community-based treatment resources, broad-based aftercare services, and community reentry support to each graduate to assist them in the continuation of their recovery process. We would like to thank everyone who played a part in the success of the RSAT program and the graduation ceremony. The graduation could not have made this possible without the contributions from the following: The Newton County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center staff, View Point Health, The Newton and Alcovy Judicial Circuit, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders Offices, Probation Office, Kroger-Highway 278, Wheeler Cleaners, Reach Outlet, Jefferson Properties and an array of businesses and community leaders who donated.
We would also like to thank those who attended and spoke encouraging words to the graduates, who include: Judge Samuel Ozburn, Commissioner JC Henderson, Superior Court Clerk Linda Hays, and County Clerk Jackie Smith, and all of our RSAT Facilitators including: Celebrate Recovery-Rebecca Ali, Plan of Action - Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson, Greif Recovery- Dr. Tracey Lewis, Money Management- Mr. & Mrs. Momon, GED-Vickie Douglas, RU Recovery-Walt Pickens, Substance Abuse & MRT- Kimberly Eskew, RSAT Coordinator-Cami Haygood, Grant Administrator- Terria Maxwell and The Department of Labor.