Lapeer County Jail Inmate Services and Programs
Proud Fathers / Proud Parenting Classes:
This program originated in Genesee County and recently expanded to serve our Lapeer County citizens, both in and out of jail. This is a valuable resource preparing inmates for their release back into the community. Since our jail is part of the community, much like a hospital and school, the Sheriff is thinking forward. This is an intensive seven week class (2 sessions per week) that helps inmates prepare to go out the door and be better fathers, husbands and members of the community. These classes could give these inmates the tools needed to break the cycle of repeated criminal tendencies. No cost to Lapeer County for this proactive positive improvement that started in April of 2008.
Alcoholic An onymous (AA ) has been established at the Lapeer County Jail for over at least twenty years. Even though there is a higher turnover in a jail population vs. prison, AA’s mission provides for insightful meetings (support group) and they follow up with inmates after they are released into the community. In other words, AA, doesn’t stop their offer of assistance once someone leaves, they encourage a continuum of care that goes beyond the jail. This helps with readjustment and at least giving them a less chance of a relapse and return to jail or prison.
Domestic Violence Support Group: This new program started in April 2008 and features a support network and agenda that assists our female inmates who have been subjected to violence and the issues that surround this topic. This program is put on by the Lapeer Area Citizens Against Domestic Assault (LACADA) and also goes beyond the jail once inmates are released. LACADA advocates and assists women and their children in the community with helping them get back on their feet and looking towards the future.
Community Mental Health Services: CMH provides counseling services every week, as well as, emergency crisis intervention. They are on call, along with other clinicians from the CMH Team to assist our staff (both patrol and jail) with a whole host of support programs. CMH evaluates inmates and assists us with inpatient or out patient psychiatric hospitalizations, discharge follow up and continuing treatment. They are on call 24/7 and have provided our jail with a track record of positive results. The Sheriff’s Office and CMH have partnered together to provide cutting edge law enforcement / corrections training on mental illness and developmental disabilities.
In Jail Substance Abuse Education and Treatment Program and Treatment Program: This is different from AA and provides an eight week session (three hours each), program on the dynamics of substance abuse and criminal thinking that will focus upon thinking and behavior patterns that result in identifying the dynamics that set up abuse and criminal activism. This also satisfies some of the inmates Court Ordered requirements and shows them the importance of planning and recovery in the community. The instructor is Stephen Smith, who is also a Juvenile Probation Officer. Mr. Smith has a Bachelors Degree and is certified to teach this intensive program. He has been an integral part of our jail based programs for at least 20 years. He provides for prevention techniques once an inmate is back in the community and works well with jail staff to get the most out of his program.
GED Classes: This has been another successful program for a long time. Our current teacher is Shelly Smith and this is a 15 week course of study. After successful completion of these classes, a final GED test is given and for those who pass, a GED diploma is awarded. This program is made possible through our excellent working relationship with the Lapeer Schools.
Communicable Disease (STD) Prevention Classes: This program started in May of 2008 and was made possible through our partnership with the Lapeer County Health Department. This is also aimed at how these diseases affect more than just themselves. It covers their families, children and communities. The hope and goal is that this also will save the health system a few dollars along the way—since it is over-run by many costs.
Anger Management and Meditation: This new program was started in late May 2008. It gives our inmates valuable tools for finding peaceful solutions and out-looks to today’s demanding and fast-paced world. Mr. Roy Sexton has volunteered his expertise and time from the Meditation Self-Healing Center in Lapeer. All inmates that have participated have provided positive feedback that this type of help shows them how to heal and better prepare against anger and negativity. This forward “big-picture” assistance to our inmates enhances our other mental health programs. Even though some people are skeptical to this type of program, it’s nondenominational development has been accepted and endorsed by the McLaren Health Care Systems and Ingham County, as an effective means for healing (body / mind), regardless of religious practice.
Forgotten Men Forgotten Men’s Ministries (FMM): s Ministries (FMM): This rehabilitation through Jesus, working with local churches, was established in 1966. They provide Chaplains for inmates’ spiritual needs and requests for counseling. They have been instrumental throughout the years in also providing follow up and continuity of care for inmates and their families. Financial support for FMM’s mission comes from individual donations, churches and local businesses. FMM community commitment engages volunteers who are screened and background checked to try to turn around inmates who ask for help, teach them Bible Studies, mentor them, give guidance on impulse control and doing the right things in life. FMM also assists indigent / poor inmates with no family support by providing donated clothing and reading / writing materials. FMM sponsors Holiday (Christmas) get together for inmates who are locked up and away from their own families during special seasons. FMM coordinates with all faiths and churches to provide 24 / 7 counseling and outreach when an inmate’s family member passes away or in the event of tragedy (death of military family member, serious illness or accident).
LIVING IN BALANCE is a program that teaches our inmates life skills and how to enable them to make the right choices. This program offers intensive prevention measures requiring the inmate to attend seven weeks of classes. They receive instruction from the Lapeer County Health Department’s Prevention Specialist, Marilynn Lorenz. Classes involve both male and female inmates, taught at separate times. The program was made available through a grant that the Health Department was awarded and is provided to the Jail at no charge. Anytime we can reverse inappropriate behavior and help our inmates become better people is well worth the effort and benefits the entire community. LIVING IN BALANCE, like many of our other programs may be the edge needed to keep the cost of crime contained and possibly give an inmate the chance at a positive life instead of repeating criminal behavior.
THINKING MATTERS is an advanced cognitive restructuring program that is new to our Correction’s programs. It deals with how the inmates think, see themselves in destructive decision making and paves the way for them changing their behavior before it turns negative and/or criminal. Classes like these may be the turning point in a person’s life that actually could put a stop to impulsive crime in our community.