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Jails resume outreach programs for inmates

Here’s what Hutchinson, Potter and Randall County Jails are doing to support inmates.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Local county jails are making it a priority to continue outreach services for inmates after being paused during the pandemic.

The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office has resumed church services and outreach in the jail.

They are also providing recovery services, resources for inmates with drug problems, and a number of pastors and others have donated their time to help those who need encouragement and help.

Inmates at the Potter County Detention Center are still following some COVID-19 guidelines when together at the outreach programs; like wearing masks and participating in smaller groups.

“I think it was really hard for them, and not only that, class wasn’t the only thing that stopped right? There was no church, and visitation wasn’t happening out here. So, it wasn’t just one small thing that stopped, it was every kind of extra thing they had stopped for a period of time. So, it was really hard for them... We’re much closer to being back to normal, but it’s not completely there yet,” said Rhea Nixon, Potter County inmates program coordinator.

The outreach programs are not the only services back for Potter County inmates.

Last week their first church service was held since the start of the pandemic.

“Sometimes when you have done something the same way for so long, you don’t realize how something new might work better. So, I think there will be changes along the way long term, but I think for now we’ve done just a really good job trying to keep the inmates safe and still do our jobs and provide them with what they need as well,” said Nixon.

Some of the services that have resumed at the Potter County Jail include life skills programs, job readiness and wellness classes, as well as intensive classes for inmates who want to change their lives, plus intensive classes for those who have mental illness.

Randall County Jail has a few different programs back up and running as well.

Its jail ministry assists incarcerated women, focuses on rehabilitating offenders and local church families host daily bible studies for incarcerated individuals.

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