CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A new program is giving Clinton County jail inmates a second chance at success. The sheriff's office is working with businesses to get inmates jobs after their release.
“We have to break that cycle of unemployment,” said Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly.
The cycle of not being able to pay for housing, pay for food, gas and other expenses is what led The Clinton County Sheriff's Office to create the Second Chance Program for inmates.
“We are working with outside companies, factories, restaurants, employers in general that are willing to take a chance and hire the inmates that are getting released,” said Sheriff Kelly.
Employers looking to hire can come to the jail and interview inmates directly. This is an important piece of the program for Sheriff Kelly. He said one of the hardest challenges for inmates is getting through the application process.
“They have to get online, they have type in their resume, they have to type out this, send an email, get an email, get a date through email so it's a little bit difficult,” said Sheriff Kelly.
Sheriff Kelly believes this program will help cut down on inmates recommitting crimes.
“This is an opportunity for somebody to be able to contribute to their families to themselves and hopefully break that cycle of breaking the law,” said Sheriff Kelly.
One inmate benefiting from the program is Elizabeth Mohr. She just started her job at Booker's Bar and Grill in Frankfort.
“Just being able to have the freedom to be able to do things like this is wonderful,” said Mohr.
Currently, she works during the day and goes back to jail at night to complete her sentencing. Booker's owner Jennifer Bowman said she was hesitant with hiring an inmate at first but now she's happy with her decision.
“They accommodated me at the jail to come and interview her two times and she really is a good person, she just made a big mistake,” said Bowman. “It's hard to find the right person to fit in with your staff and thus far she has been amazing.”
Mohr is grateful for the opportunity.
"To know that there are people out there that actually care about us inmates that is just phenomenal," said Mohr.
The Program already has five inmates either placed in jobs or lined up for interviews. Any business looking to participate in this program are asked to contact the Jail Matron Ashley Kelly at 765-659-6393.