CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Some of the inmates at the Chesapeake City Jail will soon have a new place to better themselves.
“We all make mistakes and a lot of times the people made a bad decision but they’re not bad people, so we want to give them another opportunity, you know if they’re willing to take it and do it the right way, ” said Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan.
Sheriff O’Sullivan calls their new Community Programs Center a place for second chances.
It’ll house more than 300 offenders and act as a home for the Sheriff’s Office work force.
The facility provides more opportunities for inmate programs and city improvements.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the expansion was held Wednesday morning.
“He’s giving people a second chance. He’s making a difference in people’s lives, changing society, one step at a time, said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West.
Some of those new programs include a small engines repair section, where offenders can fix city tools and earn a certificate to appeal to employers.
“The weedwackers and brush cutters and chainsaws and things like that are very backed up at the city garage because they break constantly. We’ll have about 5 inmates that are working on that,” O’Sullivan explained.
Other features include two new classrooms, a garden and barber’s station.
He says these opportunities set a foundation to get back the offenders back into the community.
“I just believe that we’ll never be able to outbuild our inmate population, so we have to find alternatives to incarceration and I think this facility here is a very strong step in the right direction,” he added.
The facility is scheduled to begin housing inmates in mid-December.