BELMONT COUNTY is home to a landmark program. It is housed at the Belmont Correctional Institute and may be the first of its kind in the entire nation.
A new military unit began operations this week at the institute. We applaud all those who possessed the vision to bring about such a unique venture.
The military program will aid veterans in two ways while also placing the local lockup into the national limelight.
The program offers veteran inmates an environment of support and encouragement where veterans will help other veterans to deal with issues they uniquely face in their rehabilitation. Moreover, the program also includes a military preparation program for inmates set for release to make them ready for entering into the service of their country.
Already, some 14 inmates have volunteered for the nine-week course. It is only a matter of time before more follow suit. It offers a no-lose proposition.
Instilling veteran values into inmates is an ideal form of rehabilitation. The veteran inmates will act as mentors for the men in the preparedness program. Such mentoring practices will serve as a quality training for the veteran inmates.
Being the first program of its kinds brings notoriety to the institute, which can only mean good things.
The program will also enable inmates, who are serving less than two years, access to further job training and counseling with the goal of reintegration into civilian life with decreased recidivism.
Veterans are a special group of individuals. Putting your life on the line for your country is not for everyone.
So we believe veterans with their strong core values, even while incarcerated, will serve as ideal mentors for inmates looking for a better future.