NWFRC Starts Faith Based Character Program For Inmates - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

NWFRC Starts Faith Based Character Program For Inmates

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You'll find faith-based character dormitories in prisons across the state, but it wasn't until this week, you'd find one at the Northwest Florida Reception Center. 

"We never really dreamed this would happen here," said Michael Vosbrink, Senior Chaplin at NWFRC. "It's just beyond our dreams."

Having a dorm dedicated to more than a hundred inmates for the character program is a dream come true for Chaplin Michael Vosbrink.

"They do a devotional type reading together just to start the day off and they just involved in activities as a family," said Vosbrink. 

The Florida Department of Corrections was looking to expand their faith based program across the state. Northwest Florida Reception Center is one of six institutions chosen to do just that.

Considering the prison was already planning on opening a dorm for inmates, "the timing couldn't have been better," said Col. Scott Duvall, Chief of Security at NWFRC. "News came down we were selected, we were excited about that fact because of all the opportunity it presents."

The program, which the Chaplain is calling, "Hope," aims to give inmates hope and a purpose.

"If they have a release date, we wanna help them reintegrate into society with the re-entry efforts," said Vosbrink. "Help them be a better person, be a better father, better neighbor, better husband."

"I feel in the bottom of my heart, God put me here to be in this program," said Timothy Reffner.

Reffner is an inmate at NWFRC who is excited to now be living in the faith-based character dormitory and be closer to God.

"It's really getting off to a really good start," said Reffner. "There's individuals that are comfortable to be around, its not like the other dorms."

It hasn't even been a week and for Reffner, it's already changing his life.

"This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in the seven years that I've been down," said Reffner.

Jackson Correctional Institution was also selected as one of the six institutions to implement a faith-based character program. 

These institutions will receive funding to help them do the program which lasts one year.