Date: February 16, 2005 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Grady Judd
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 981-2374 Pager

Faith-Based Initiatives in Polk Jails Ideas Being Solicited	

During the summer of 2004, the Sheriff’s Office met with Polk County faith-based groups to formulate ideas to bring their assistance to Polk County Jail inmates. “As a law enforcement agency, not only did we approach this issue as a matter of the heart, but as a crime prevention model. If we can partner with faith-based groups to give our inmates the guidance and resources they need to become productive citizens and turn away from their criminal lifestyle, crime decreases and the quality of life for Polk County increases,” explains Sheriff Judd.

Attendees of the six summer sessions held across the county were enthusiastic. Three main ideas surfaced during these sessions:  faith-based inmate referrals, faith-based mentoring, and faith-based dormitories. All programs will be voluntary and open to most normally classified minimum and medium custody inmates.  Programs will be non-denominational, although various faiths are involved and all faiths are invited to participate. The Sheriff’s Office is in the process of establishing these programs; however, support of the faith-based community is needed and encouraged.

A county-wide forum lunch meeting to discuss these initiatives has been scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 2005, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Cypress Cathedral, 1801 Havendale Blvd., N.W., Winter Haven.  During this meeting, faith-based groups will learn about the programs being developed and be given the opportunity to volunteer to participate in one or more of these initiatives. 

If you or a representative of your faith-based group would like to attend, please RSVP to (863) 534-6340 by March 10, 2005.

Distribution: Chief of Staff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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