Yulee, Fla. – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office is tasked with housing individuals who have been sentenced by the court to serve up to one year in the Detention Facility. A number of these inmates are repeat offenders that come in to the criminal justice system over and over again. Our goal is to provide them with the necessary skills and confidence so they can lead a better life outside of jail and not burden the System by winding back behind bars.
Sheriff Bill Leeper has authorized a new program designed just for women called ELITE (Education Leads into Excellence) to help those individuals become productive members of society. ELITE’s mission is to assist offenders/ex-offenders to successfully re-integrate back into the community with the strength of character, education and training to serve as productive members of society who will not re-offend.
ELITE’s vision is to provide services, such as mentoring, educational and employability skills opportunities, job training & placement services, and emotional/social counseling to address the multiple and layered issues of inmates & ex-offenders so they may successfully change their lives and reduce their rate of recidivism. At the present time there are limited assistance/services available for Nassau County female inmates and ex-offenders for helping them overcome the issues that led to their offenses and to prevent their re-offending upon release.
ELITE’s program’s goals are to offer intake assessment & planning, education, career & employment, goal planning, counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse education, support groups and employability skills workshops. The program will also provide General Educational Development (GED) tuition and testing fees when possible to students seeking to earn their GED.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office also offers other programs that are offered to all male inmates at the Detention Facility which are taught by community volunteers. In addition to faith-based church services, these programs are Alcoholics Anonymous, The Godly Man, and Courage to Change Program. We are currently working to provide GED classes to male inmates once we locate qualified volunteer instructors.
The NCSO Jail staff also provides other training opportunities within the Detention Facility like food preparation, cooking, carpentry, painting, auto detailing, and landscaping.
“By offering training & educational opportunities to inmates while incarcerated at the Nassau County Detention Facility, we hope to provide some skills that will allow them to be productive citizens, avoid returning to their former lifestyles and most of all lessen the possibility of returning to jail, which will reduce the cost to taxpayers” said Sheriff Bill Leeper.