Breaking the cycle: Officers do what they can

Numerous programs are in place in jails and detention facilities across the country to reduce recidivism. From the work crews you see picking up trash along the highway to the Bible studies led inside the jail, much is being done to improve the character of inmates.

"We want them to leave here better than they came in," explained Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge.

At the Jones County Jail, local churches and outreach ministries visit inmates.

"Since I've been in office, we've seen 30-something professions of faith that have actually followed through with believer's baptisms.

Non-violent offenders are also given the opportunity to join work crews that clean up roadways or that work in the jail's kitchen. A unique feature of the Jones County Jail is the garden. Inmates are in charge of the project from start to finish, planting the seeds that later produce fruits and vegetables that are used to feed them.

But the recidivism rate is still high.

"We do everything we can to make them feel better about themselves, to give them a little hope and some self-esteem," said Sheriff Hodge. "It works for some. Some it does not work for."

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