Monroe Co. Sheriff’s Department’s Restoration Initiative created to help inmates get a job and a second chance

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – On Tuesday, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department announced that they received a $20,000 grant for their new Monroe County Restoration Initiative.

It is a program aimed at helping inmates and those in addiction recovery programs transition back into the community.

“My family stopped talking to me, divorce was on the table. I had to do something,” says Toby Rinehart, the first and so far only person participating in the program.

Rinehart was arrested in 2014 for selling meth. Now he is out on parole and working at Davis Construction at Amory.

“It’s my only chance,” he says. “I didn’t know what I was coming home to. I didn’t want to go back to that lifestyle.”

It’s a chance that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department wants to offer so many others like Rinehart.

“Everybody knows the prison system’s overpopulated and it’s not, it’s not fixing a whole lot of the issues,” says Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook. “There has to be some type of counseling services done to get to the underlying issues with these people.”

The majority of the money, which came from the Walmart Strategic Initiatives Fund, will go towards GED classes and counseling for addiction, mental health and anger management that will be offered at the detention center.

“We really want to work on showing that these men and women have done enough to show this employer that they do want to do right,” Sheriff Crook says.

Davis Construction is one of the eight to 10 businesses participating in the initiative.

“Without there being something for them to go to, something stable in their life, they’re going to end up right back in the same boat,” says Jed Davis, the owner of the company.

He says Rinehart has been working for him for about three weeks.

“I have had no issues whatsoever,” Davis says. “He’s been on time every day. Any time I’ve asked him to work over he’s been there, and  has been just outstanding so far.”

Rinehart hopes he can inspire others who have gone through similar struggles to break the cycle and give themselves a second chance.

“I’m happy here,” he says. “I’m happy with my new life.”

Sheriff Crook hopes to have the program completely up and running by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022 and wants to double the number of businesses involved.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News