06

Jan

Inmates Plead With Trump For Supportive Care Services For Addicts

hernado-country-inmate-drug-education-discussion

A new viral Facebook live video from Virginia inmates has implored President-elect Donald Trump to invest in supportive care and recovery services for the addicted.

With the help of recovery advocate Ryan Hampton of Facing Addiction, several women in the Chesterfield County Jail Heroin Addiction Recovery Program (HARP) spoke in the video on Dec. 30. They praised the program and said HARP gave them the guidance they’d been lacking while bouncing in and out of jail. Families are also involved in the program, offering support while being educated about the nature of addiction.

“It’s peer-to-peer in here, we love each other, we treat each other like a family,” said Patsy Garnett, a mother of two and the first female participant in the program.

Another inmate, Whitney, said being part of a network of people who want to stay sober was integral to her recovery.

“A stigma only grows in the dark,” she said. “I want to bring to light that we are humans.” After 14 years of living with addiction and labeled as a felon, Whitney has been able to watch herself and fellow inmates “grow and learn about themselves” through the HARP program.

Last year, Hampton facilitated the first Facebook Live feed to be recorded from inside a jail, with male inmates at Chesterfield County. The viral messages are bringing attention to the success of programs like HARP.

“It’s important that we create more programs like this and that we have them available to people who suffer addiction,” David Rook, operations manager at McShin, told ABC 8. “We can reduce recidivism rates. We can rebuild families, our communities will become stronger.”