Inside the Jackson County Correctional Facility, once a week, a handful of male and female inmates attend counseling sessions.
"Going to classes, I don't feel angry at all, "says inmate Larry Stephens. "I am able to vent." Stephens takes anger management class each Thursday night at the facility. He is one of about 76 other male inmates enrolled in the class.
"You have 7 days to handle your anger and you go in there and relieve it all," says Stephens. "And it's actually helpful."
Mike Evans is the Director of Community Services of North Florida and facilitates the anger management classes. "We have a curriculum each week, says Evans. "We talk about ways to deal with anger, what got you here, dealing with impossible people, and coping with people who have anger directed toward you."
For the past two years, Stephens has helped inmates with their anger as well as help prepare them for a job when they get out. He says he sees progress each and every week to the point in which they come in to the point that they go out. Another facilitator from Community services of north Florida holds a drug substance abuse class for about 30 women inmates.
This week the Jackson County Commission decided to renew the contract with Community Services of North Florida.
Commissioner Doctor Willie Spires says he thinks it's an important part of the inmate rehabilitation process. "We should be about more than warehousing these individuals," says Spires. "We should have our focus on trying to have them be successful and change their lives."
The funding for these programs comes from Jackson County property taxes. Meanwhile,the commission has decided to renew the contract with Community Services of North Florida, but it's still unknown just how money will go towards the services. The commission will start their budget hearings next week.