BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)–The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is making an effort to stop drug addiction in the community, and curb the overflow of inmates in our local jail.
They partnered with the Northwest Florida Health Network to create care coordinators. These are positions that help connect inmates with the resources they need to make a positive change.
Audrey Corley started working at the Bay County Jail five years ago as a classification counselor when she began to notice a certain pattern with inmate intake.
“You get really familiar with your inmate population, and who is coming in, and at what frequency,” Corley said.
Now as one of the four new care coordinators, Corley is able to dive deeper and connect with inmates at a personal level. Corley said she is able often to find the root cause of their reoffence.
“We are a bridge to help you get from here to there. If you feel like you need counseling, that’s who we can connect you with. If you feel like you have a substance abuse issue that’s who we’re going to connect you with,” she said.
These care coordinators specialize in treatment, substance abuse, general welfare, and juvenile probation.
Corley starts her day by checking who was admitted into the jail overnight, speaking with each new inmate finding out a little bit more about them.
Despite what one might assume, she said often these inmates want to do better for themselves, but don’t necessarily know how to get there.
“Most of them want to succeed they want to do better, but they don’t know how to do that or they don’t think that’s an option for them,” she said.
Corley often assists in helping inmates get valid identification as well as helping them find a suitable place to live. She also sees each inmate through until the end of their release.
“That’s been the best part to see them have a plan,” Corley said.
According to Corley, once they get out of jail the inmates can be connected with the other care coordinators to continue down the path of success.