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Wood County Program Helps Inmates With Drug Issues

WAOW Television

The new SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery Program helps Wood County Jail inmates deal with problems stemming from addiction.

The jail held it's first graduation ceremony Friday, an event many inmates looked at as the first day of the rest of their lives.

The inmates in the program serve as proof that walking into jail doesn't have to mean walking into a dead end.

The program is aimed for inmates, like Audra Schroeder, who want to recover from drug addiction.

"Drugs took over my life and became my best friend and there was no friend; it just dragged me down," said Schroeder.

"There's a lot of people out there like us and it gave us new ideas on how to get through life," she said. "You are going to have problems every day, but this teaches us how to get through them without drugs."

The jail works with Three Bridges Recovery and gives inmates weekly classes, homework and yoga.

Three Bridges works to stay in touch with the inmates after they are released.

"We have already made recovery plans with all of them so, when they get out, right away they are getting in contact with us and of course that is their decision and their choice," said Tom Kelly, a peer recovery coach with Three Bridges. "That's one thing we learned together: making better choices in life."

"They have worked so hard; I talked to them about their plans when they get out and they are excited to have some tools now about what they can use," said Lt. Susanna Pearson of the Wood County Jail.

As for Schroeder, she was released on Friday and tells News 9 she hopes to never be back.

The word of the program quickly spread throughout the jail. The next group will start on the first week of March and will allow more inmates per session. 

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