AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is rolling out a new initiative to help inmates kick their addictions before being released from jail.
There are nearly 900 people housed behind the barbed wire at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center. Many of them are carrying the baggage of an addiction.
Lt. Allan Rollins said, "These people come into the jails and they have to go cold turkey."
That means they have to kick their habits with no help.
But, that's about to change.
The sheriff's office has teamed up with Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous to offer sessions twice a week for inmates who want to turn things around.
"It's going to be inexpensive, it's easy to do, there are people who are willing to undergo the treatment program, and we have volunteers that are going to come in and help," said Rollins.
Rollins said the taxes will pay for a room, a couple of chairs and coffee for the inmates to drink while working through their issues.
Compare that to the $21,000 it takes to house one prisoner for a year, and officials say that's a win.
So far, 40 inmates have already signed up for classes.
By focusing resources on changing unhealthy habits that lead to criminal behavior, Rollins said the program has the potential to change a lot of lives across the city of Augusta.
"These people will be released from here and they will go back into the community. So, maybe when we get them back out into the community they can be better citizens while out there," said Rollins.
The first classes will start Wednesday, October 5th.