Washington County Sheriff's Office's 'About Face' to show youth reality of incarcerated life

Next Sunday, Washington County youth will have a chance to see firsthand what the inside of a jail is like through the inaugural "About Face" program.

Washington County Sheriff's Office's About Face is a "Beyond Scared Straight" type-program, modeled after a similar initiative through Oklahoma County.

"Essentially, the program is for at risk youth potentially in danger of put themselves in a situation where they could be incarcerated," said Washington County jail administrator, Brandon Cranor. "We want to help the individual before they find themselves in the system."

Through the four-hour program, participants will tour the Washington County Detention Center and view how incarcerated inmates live their lives.

"It begins with a boot camp exercise program for about 30 to 45 minutes," Cranor said. "During their time here, they will also hear some pretty impacting stories from some of the inmates we have here."

About Face participants will also have a short visitation with their parents via video.

"That is how they would be allowed to visit with their loved ones if they were one of our inmates," Cranor said.
Cranor said the Oklahoma County program has seen a positive response, and WCSO hopes to see that same success over time.

"We will follow up with the participants ad their parent or guardian and see how they are doing. We hope the young people in this program will change their current behaviors, and go home with a much different lifestyle to become a productive member of society."

About Face begins Aug. 18, and will be held every third Sunday of the month. It is open to age 8 through 17. Cranor said juveniles cannot have been adjudicated or a juvenile offender.

For more information, contact 918-332-4039 or bcranor@couthycourthourse.org.

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