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December 2, 2014 Published in Courts & Crime, Other News

Inmates Honored For New “Thinking For A Change” Program And Other Educational Achievements

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Sheriff Dana Lawhorne congratulates recent GED, ServSafe(r) and Thinking for a Change graduates. Back row, left to right: Richard Butler, Robert Jones, Ryan Wright, Eric Buckner, Brian Schatzlein, David Schatzlein, Asim Khan, Kenneth Jones. Front row, left to right: Rasheed Tate, Juan Pena-Cardoza, Jose Medina, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne. (Courtesy Photo)

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne congratulates recent GED, ServSafe(r) and Thinking for a Change graduates. Back row, left to right: Richard Butler, Robert Jones, Ryan Wright, Eric Buckner, Brian Schatzlein, David Schatzlein, Asim Khan, Kenneth Jones. Front row, left to right: Rasheed Tate, Juan Pena-Cardoza, Jose Medina, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne. (Courtesy Photo)

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and his staff honored a dozen inmates for their educational accomplishments during a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, Nov, 25, at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center.  Among those recognized were six inmates who became the first to complete the "Thinking for a Change" program, a partnership with the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Office to assist inmates with reentry into the community.

Alexandria's Chief Probation and Parole Officer Lisa Stapleton addressed the "Thinking for a Change" participants and congratulated them on their achievement. The program includes classroom instruction and student participation, as well as homework, role playing and reviews, to help inmates through cognitive restructuring, improving social skills and developing problem-solving techniques. Eric Buckner, Richard Butler, Robert Jones, Rasheed Tate, Ryan Wright and another inmate who did not want to be publicly identified received certificates of completion from Denise Costley, Inmate Re-entry Counselor for the Sheriff's Office, and Alfreda Simms, Deputy Chief for the Probation and Parole Office.

Sheriff Lawhorne then joined education coordinator Krista Sofonia in presenting Joseph Medina, wearing a cap and gown, with a certificate of achievement for passing his General Educational Development examination.

Five other inmates wore chef's hats as they were recognized for earning their ServSafe(r) Food Protection Manager Certification. Joseph Weeks of ORS Interactive which administers the ServSafe(r) training in the jail joined Sheriff Lawhorne in recognizing Kenneth Jones, Asim Khan, Juan Pena-Cardoza, Brian Schatzlein and David Schatzlein. This locally and nationally recognized certification will make them more competitive candidates for restaurant and food service job opportunities. They completed an eight-hour training program and passed the examination on food safety regulations and concepts.

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