The Lubbock County Detention Center has a new counseling program that is now available to their general population.
The counseling previously provided was limited by court order or crisis situations and contracted by the county.
Now, thanks to a new program, volunteer counselors are providing more services to more inmates.
Roughly 1,200 people are incarcerated at the Lubbock County Detention Center.
"I was very nervous. What if these people don't accept me or think that I am here to judge them?" Tiffany Ford asked herself before starting the licensed professional counseling internship.
Ford is one of six licensed professional counseling interns at the detention center; she said her fears quickly faded
"These guys are just like everybody else. They want to do better. They want to better their lives," Ford said.
The interns only work with inmates who will eventually be eligible for release. Their focus is to provide them with the skills they will need succeed outside of jail.
"I have this stigma about jail or prison of the inmates and it's due to some of the documentaries you'll probably see where it shows a lot of poor behavior and things like that, but really I haven't seen that," said Link Blevins, who is also an intern.
Program Coordinator Ron Martin started the program back in August. He said the results are clear.
"We know it's working because we see a difference in their attitudes and the way they are behaving in the facility. We also see an influx in the desire for counseling," Martin said.
The program is benefiting the interns emotionally as well.
"I'm much more compassionate and understanding. A lot of these women are different and come from different backgrounds than where I come from. It has just made me see that I have so much in common with this person and given a different circumstance or a different situation I would easily be where they are at," Ford said.
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