White County Jail offers a variety of programs for inmates who are trying to change their lives for the better, while serving their sentences so, that when they have paid their debt to society and they re-enter the community, they can be a productive part of the community.
One of the programs that takes place at the jail is a weekly Jail Ministry Program.
“There are several churches who are a part of the program,” Donna Daniels, the Jail Program Director, said. “They come and speak to the people here and offer encouragement through their interactions with them.”
Daniels said the Jail Ministry Program consisted of a variety of faiths including Baptist, Church of Christ, Mennonite, and Jehovah’s Witness.
“I have seen a lot of changes in the people who participate in the Jail Ministry Program offered,” Daniels said. “If it changes one life, then it is completely worth having the program here.”
On Oct. 6, 2023, representatives from three area churches – Life Church, Christpoint Church, and Sparta First Baptist Church – gathered at the jail to assist in the baptism of 36 inmates who decided this was the right step for them in their rehabilitation process.
“I want to thank each representative from the churches for their dedication and commitment to the Jail Ministry Program,” Sheriff Steve Page said.
In addition to the Jail Ministry Program, Daniels said other programs offered include GED preparation, Anger Management, Parenting Classes, Personal Finance, and Job Seeking. In addition, Daniels is working with Motlow and TCAT-Crossville to begin mobile classes at the jail in the near future.
“We are so appreciative of the volunteers that make all of our programs a success,” Daniels said, adding that volunteers must undergo background checks and complete a certification program. “Those that donate their time, the businesses and individuals who donate resources – we couldn’t do the things we do without them.”
Kevin Benton, White County’s jail administrator, said he believes the variety of programs offered are helping the inmates find hope in their futures and, in doing so, changing the atmosphere of the facility.
“It helps morale a lot,” Benton said. “It gives them something to look forward to each week as well as in their future.”
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