Inmates receive new outlook


By Theresa Armstrong - tarmstrong@civitasmedia.com



Theresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Nicole Davis, left, receives her diploma and “Happy Jar” from Gail Basham, in the graduation ceremony for the Portal New Direction Course on Friday, Jan. 8.


Theresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Portal New Direction Course graduates (in alphabetical order) Angela Carey, Nicole Davis, Paula Grimes, Kimberlee Sewell, Nina Sheppard, and Nicole Waldecker pose for a photo with Program Directors Gail Basham and Kim Stevenson.


Six female inmates from the Grayson County Detention Center recently received “Happy Jars” during the graduation ceremony of the Portal New Direction Course.

The Happy Jars contain notes of encouragement and are one of the many tools participants received to help make the transition to the “outside” successful.

The program itself is a new course offered at the Grayson County Detention Center for female inmates to help shorten the length of time served and give the participants a new way of looking at the outside world.

Gail Basham, Morris Basham, and Kim Stevenson were the directors of the course and spoke highly of the six graduates.

“Not everyone who enters the course graduates,” said Gail Basham. “The class started with 13 women, and, as you can see, there are only six here today.”

To enter the program, there are several factors the inmate must meet. The length of time left on their sentence, type of offense, and parole eligibility are three of the requirements.

The thing the graduates said was the most beneficial part of the program was the job training and help with interviews and writing resumes.

“We actually did job interviews with real employers,” said graduate Angela Carey. “This will make it easier when I get out and apply for a job. They also gave us a list of felon-friendly employers that will not just shut the door because you have been in here.”

Carey is a Grayson County resident who will be paroling out to her mother’s home in May. She said she now sees the world in a different way.

This program is funded by the local jails and is not offered in every jail across the state. The training for the coordinators and the curriculum are provided by the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Theresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Nicole Davis, left, receives her diploma and “Happy Jar” from Gail Basham, in the graduation ceremony for the Portal New Direction Course on Friday, Jan. 8.
http://gcnewsgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Graduation-1.jpgTheresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Nicole Davis, left, receives her diploma and “Happy Jar” from Gail Basham, in the graduation ceremony for the Portal New Direction Course on Friday, Jan. 8.

Theresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Portal New Direction Course graduates (in alphabetical order) Angela Carey, Nicole Davis, Paula Grimes, Kimberlee Sewell, Nina Sheppard, and Nicole Waldecker pose for a photo with Program Directors Gail Basham and Kim Stevenson.
http://gcnewsgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Graduation-2.jpgTheresa Armstrong | GC News-Gazette Portal New Direction Course graduates (in alphabetical order) Angela Carey, Nicole Davis, Paula Grimes, Kimberlee Sewell, Nina Sheppard, and Nicole Waldecker pose for a photo with Program Directors Gail Basham and Kim Stevenson.

By Theresa Armstrong

tarmstrong@civitasmedia.com

Reach Theresa Armstrong at 270-259-9622, ext. 2011.

Reach Theresa Armstrong at 270-259-9622, ext. 2011.

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