New Jackson County Program Offers Opportunity For Clean Slate - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

New Jackson County Program Offers Opportunity For Clean Slate

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Marianna, FL -

A new Jackson county program is helping keep the recreational hotspots across the area in a tip-top shape. It's also allowing students who made a few bad choices while they were visiting those spots a chance to make up for it.

"It wins for both of us," said Jackson County Sheriff.

For eight hours these young adults will pick up what others have left behind, helping clear area parks while clearing up their namesake.

"They may be 18 years of age but they're not 21, so they can't consume the alcohol," said Roberts.

In the last two weeks, about a dozen youth are doing community service and paid fines for citations received while drinking underage on spring creek.

"We want it to be an area that a person wants to bring their family to and have recreation on our waterways," said Roberts.

In a joint effort from the State Attorney's office, Judge Wade Mercer, the Jackson County sheriffs Office along with Jackson County Corrections, they started the program this Summer.

"If we had not had this program, it could also go against their history as far as having a criminal history," said Sheriff Roberts. "We felt that it was important to not worry the career for these young people because most of them are college students."

The college age students were responsible for cleaning many area parks.

"Spring Creek being one of them, Magnolia Landing, Round Lake, different areas used by our citizens, try to keep them clean at least during the summer months," said Roberts.

Even though they encountered trouble, they got a chance to redeem themselves and were thankful.

"Everyone one of them that were given the opportunity to participate in this program jumped at the opportunity," said Roberts. "They went around and cleaned up and made it look really good and I got a lot of positive comments from these young people too."

Those involved also had to take a four hour class regarding the consumption of alcohol and how to do it safely once you're of age.