Roderick Mitchell speaks at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center (courtesy photo)

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office staff and inmates at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center recently welcomed a veteran member of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department to deliver an inspirational message to inmates. 

Roderick K. Mitchell was the featured speaker at a program for inmates on Thursday, Jan. 26. Mitchell, who has served 26 years as a firefighter and technician with D.C. Fire, is a motivational speaker with his own company, Success by Fire. He volunteered his speaking services to encourage inmates to face and overcome their challenges. 

After sharing some personal details of his own troubled childhood and recalling his own difficult experiences as a young adult, Mitchell engaged his audience with a message that combined hope, perseverance and responsibility. He applied a five-point approach in firefighting to overcoming adversity in life to show how inmates could better identify goals and pursue more positive outcomes. In drawing upon his firefighting training, he urged the inmates to participate in their own rescue process and to find ways to extinguish their own pain so that they can begin to heal. 

Following the formal program, inmates had the opportunity to ask Mitchell questions. They and the staff appreciated Mitchell’s engaging style and his message of empowerment through personal action and improvement. Inmate Services staff thanked Mitchell for generously donating his time and services and presented him with a gift to express their gratitude. 

The Sheriff’s Office provides inmates with programs to help them improve their way of thinking, develop skills and change behaviors so that they will have a more success transition when they do return to the community.

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