Mediation Program looks to help Inmates Rebuild
HAGERSTOWN, MD - Basha Jordan III is an ex-inmate of the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown and on Saturday he went back for the day.
"I drove all the way out here because I remember being here," says Basha Jordan III.
Basha says he wanted to show inmates who are where he's been what it's like to return to society and the importance of building relationships through community mediation.
"I got out in October, and because I did this, like it wasn't any surprise what was coming to me when I did get home," says Basha.
Basha met with a group of inmates, encouraging them to take advantage of the Washington County Community Mediation program.
"When you're out there drugging and drinking you don't think about who you're hurting, you know I burned some bridges in my life," says inmate George Harris.
Some have high hopes that the program will be just what they need.
"It gives me hope you know I haven't had much hope in my life. This ain't my first time in. I wish they would've have his program before maybe I wouldn't be here standing here interviewing with you," says Inmate Clayton Moats.
Clayton Moats says he's learned the hard way the importance of rebuilding relationships after his father died when he returned to prison.
"Last time I went home you know we didn't fix our relationship from the last time so now I'm feeling the guilt."
Other inmates agree it's important.
"I'll do whatever I have to do to build my relationship with my family because you don't know how long they're going to be here," says Harris.
A recent study shows inmates are less likely to recidivate, if they've completed even one mediation period.
"The latest stats show the people who go through the mediation will help reduce the rate that probably less than ten percent come back," says Gregg Hershberger, Warden at Roxbury Correctional Institution.
Basha is now working two jobs and says mediation has helped turn his life around.
"I feel like I missed out on a big chunk, but now I know what I have to do so I don't miss out on anything else," says Basha.
Basha has been out of prison for nine months. He says being able to return his visitors badge at the end of the day and leave the facility is surreal.
The Washington County Mediation Center is a non-profit. If you're interested in learning more about it or volunteering, head to http://www.wccmc.org/