New program helping nonviolent offenders rehabilitate in Scott County

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SCOTT COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Scott County, Virginia Sheriff Chris Holder said his department has arrested nearly 500 suspects in drug investigations within the last six months.

Many of those drug offenders end up behind bars.

News Channel 11 learned about a new program aimed at helping certain offenders start working, and in turn, alleviating costs for the county.

Scott County leaders said the cost to the county for the regional jail has gone up over the years, and they wanted to do something to alleviate costs. It’s now at $41 a day per inmate to keep them incarcerated.

“We finally put in a program that will get some of the inmates out that deserve to be out,” Scott County Board of Supervisors Chairman Danny Mann said.

We’re told certain nonviolent offenders now have the chance to leave incarceration and start working on society.

“There’s a vetting process they’ve gotta go through to see if they qualify. It’s pretty tough,” Mann said.

It’s called the Scott Service program that allows certain offenders to work on projects throughout the community. The program is already helping decrease the number of inmates.

“We have the number down to 168 now which is a tremendous amount to what it was a couple of months ago,” Mann said.

Scott County Board of Supervisors Chairman Danny Mann said the county raised taxes this year – largely because of how expensive the jail is to operate.

“In 2006 – the cost for the regional jail was about $600,000. This year we appropriated $3.2 million,” Mann said.

Scott County Sheriff Chris Holder said drugs like meth, heroin and fentanyl are an epidemic in our region. He supports the new program.

“Since I’ve been sheriff in March, we’ve had almost 500 arrests. Most of its been meth,” Sheriff Holder said.

The sheriff said he’s going to continue doing his job and arresting drug offenders.

“The cost of the jail is not my problem. It’s not the deputies problems. Our job is to serve and protect and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Sheriff Holder said.

Chairman Mann tells us he believes the county and its citizens will be pleased with the results of the program.

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