City of Alexandria, VA
The Detention Center offers inmates many programs to help them rebuild their lives, their families, and their communities. Offering inmates enriching programs is a smart and productive thing to do, and serves a tri-fold purpose. Programs help inmates acquire skills and change behaviors that will enable them to live more productively upon their release. They are rehabilitative in nature, and work when participants engage themselves in the principles and skills taught.
Secondly, programs help the communities to which ex-offenders return. Individuals who benefit from rehabilitative programs held inside jails are better citizens upon release. The skills learned while incarcerated form a foundation for continued change, resulting in stronger families, more responsible parents, and citizens who are positive contributors to their neighborhoods. It is much better for everyone when individuals released from incarceration obtain employment, continue their education and seek the help they need to succeed on the outside.
Lastly, providing inmate programs promotes a safe and secure Detention Center. Inmates are provided positive outlets for their energies, resulting in less time for negative behaviors.
Programs also help inmates manage challenging thoughts and information that can arise while incarcerated, which, without attention, often result behavior that is dangerous to Detention Center staff, volunteers and other inmates.
In the Detention Center, all programs, with the exception of religious based programming, focus at least one of three areas:
Offerings include educational initiatives like GED preparation, ESL (English as a Second Language), credit courses from Northern Virginia Community College, nationally-recognized food service certification training, the SET program (an education and life skills program for men), LEAD (an education and life skills program for women), law and leisure library services, and sobriety-focused programs Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and the Sober Living Units, therapeutic community housing unit based programs to help inmates become free from chemical dependence.