Potter County to offer more mental health, educational resources to inmates

Potter County to offer more mental health, educational resources to inmates

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - More resources will be offered to Potter County inmates hoping to turn their lives around, and not return to jail.

Many people believe those incarcerated deserve to be where they are. But Sheriff Thomas also believes they deserve the opportunity to better themselves. And a few new resources will help with that.

It's been a few months since the Potter County Jail had a psychiatrist on staff.

But things will soon be back to normal, as someone willing to step up has taken the position. Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas says this is extremely important, as a good chunk of those in the system need mental help.

"A lot of them don't need to be in my jail," says Thomas. "They just don't need to be there, but we don't have any other place to put them, so we're trying to get as much help as we can for them while they're in our facility until they can get through the criminal justice system as well."

Potter County has also hired a woman who will work with inmates on life skills. Everyday she goes to a different pod and goes over how to handle stress, anger management, and other necessary social skills.

"One, we hope that that will reduce some of our disagreements that we have in our jail of course, but also once they get out it'll be able to give them some information on how to deal with things when they get out and not have to come back," says Thomas.

Thomas tells us the office is also looking at trying to start a GED program, for those seeking an education, which hopefully will come within the next few weeks.

Officials did a quick survey to see how many inmates are interested in the program, and 163 said they'd take part in it.

"So if we can help them get them while they're with us, then when they get back out, hopefully they can become a positive impact on the society and they won't come back and so that's the whole goal is to reduce them from coming back, plus give them a hand up and get them back started back up in society."

Potter County Commissioners will decide on Monday whether to purchase a few computers to help within the program.

Copyright 2017 KFDA. All rights reserved.