Local Jail Begins Program for Veterans
News 10 is reporting that the McLennan County Jail has opened up a special section of the prison for armed forces veterans.
The new prison section's goal is to, "be able to help the veterans re-enter into the community and be successful again is just huge,” said Capt. Ricky Armstrong, Jail Administrator.
the "B Wing" currently has eight inmates who are now apart of the inaugural McLennan County Jail Veteran Inmate C.O.V.E.R. Program.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, eight percent of inmates in the U.S. are military veterans. the "B Wing" hopes to help combat these numbers.
"One of the things that we did that set them apart, that make them feel a little better about themselves, is removing them from the black-and-whites or the orange-and-white stripes and actually putting them in a uniform,” said Hinojos. “We're actually letting these guys iron their own uniforms, we're letting them wash their own uniforms, fold their own uniforms, so that's also giving them those tools again so it reminds them that ‘when I get out of here, these are the things I'm going to have to take care of on my own.’"
Along with new uniforms, "B Wing" inmates will have similar duties to when they were in the military. These duties will include; making their bed, taking care of the American Flag and keeping their green uniforms.
“It gives them that sense of pride that they have something to work for, to remind them that this is something they stood for once before,” said Hinojos. “I absolutely believe that the guys who got out of the military and broke the law or did something to get where they're at now, they are absolutely crushed by it, and for them to want to join this program is a step up for them and it shows us they don't want to be what they were, they want to excel and be something more.”
The inmates have to apply to be a part of the program and can stay as long as they wish, however, they can be kicked out for not following the rules.