Fairfax County Inmates Focus on Addiction Recovery in Volunteer Program

“These are volunteers, nobody told them you have to be in this program”

A group of inmates in Fairfax County, Virginia, are learning how to face their problems with drugs and alcohol through a pilot program that is completely voluntary.

It's called STAR: Striving to Achieve Recovery.

Inmates at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center must apply and be accepted into the program. They live in the same quarters and spend their days unearthing the deep-rooted trauma that led to their addictions.

“We have this program for the right reasons, not because somebody wants to get time off their sentence,” Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid said.

Aaron Myers, 32, says it has taken several lockups for him to take ownership of his actions.

His most recent jail sentence started 11 months ago for drug possession and intent to distribute.

Myers is in the STAR program with about 12 other inmates.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of this because it’s not just about us, it’s about the people that are going to come after us,” said Myers, a father to an 8-year-old boy.

He says he's doing the STAR program to become a role model for his son.

“It’s definitely motivating when he lights up when he sees me,” Myers said.

“To have your son or daughter say, ‘Dad, I’m proud of you.’ That’s huge. That’s huge,” Kincaid said.

Myers answered openly when News4 asked him if he thinks this is his final time in jail.

"I can’t… I mean, that’s the goal. I can’t say yes or no. I mean, I don't know. I’ve been taught just to stay in the moment. All I have is today.”

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