Panama City

Panama City, FL – Four Walton County inmates get new lease on life

Panama City, FL –

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) – This Walton County inmate class is the fifth to graduate from a heavy equipment operations course.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office launched its vocational training program in 2018 to help inmates avoid returning to jail.

This is the first class of inmates to achieve Adaptable Equipment Proficiency Testing (ADEPT) certification, not only in Walton County, but nationally, through a partnership with Heavy Equipment Colleges of America. .

“It gives them a leg up on a normal person than on the street walking and saying ‘hey, I can operate the equipment’ but lacks the proof,” said Mark Simmons, professional instructor of the Walton County Jail. They actually have a card that says they have taken a college course and are certified on heavy equipment. “

The course focuses on learning to operate five pieces of heavy equipment with a strong emphasis on safety.

Inmates who completed the program were offered jobs at places like Gum Creek Farms and the Town of Crestview.

“Walton County actually has this program for guys like us who want to go out and be something and get away from the bad side and still look for the good in them and I think that will do us good,” the inmate said. Johnny Pruett.

“The reality is that keeping people in jail is expensive and it behooves all of us to try to impact people’s lives and try to break a cycle of incarceration,” said the Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson. “These men here today are going to support families, they can go to work now. It makes a big difference and it goes towards a very high return on investment. Change lives.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is also expected to launch a CDL certification program for eligible inmates in 2022.

Four Walton County inmates get new lease on life Source link Four Walton County inmates get new lease on life

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