Recovery Pod celebrates five years of sending inmates down the right path

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- A big celebration is scheduled for Saturday as the Sarasota County Addiction Recovery Program will celebrate its 5th anniversary.

Inmates, deputies, jailers and representatives from the Salvation Army, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous will join together to celebrate a program that many say has worked miracles.

When they hit rock bottom, when that jailhouse door clangs shut, some addicts finally realize what put them there.

"I'm in here due to my addictions. My addictions led my life and I committed some crimes that led me through these doors,” says inmate Brianne Lintz.

"I have a couple of burglaries and I have a possession of cocaine," says inmate David Pruitt.

"Everything that I've done in my life that was wrong has to do with drugs. Drugs got me nowhere; they've done nothing but bring me down to this road here in jail," says inmate Nicholas Bolduc.

At the Sarasota County Jail, they get a chance to kick their addiction by serving their entire time, 24 hours a day, in the recovery pod.

Currently there are 18 women in one pod, and 48 men in the other. It's operated by the recovery community, the Salvation Army, and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

“Having them a captive audience supporting each other, having professionals come in and do the counseling and giving them the opportunity to continue. Their addiction recovery when they leave this facility keeps them off the streets, keeps them from committing crimes, and gets them back into the community," says Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight.

And it doesn't cost taxpayers a penny.

Jody Feinroth is one of the volunteers from the recovery community. "I've been there and done it, and I think the message that we pass when we come in here has a lot of depth and weight because of our experience."

Lisi Brannen coordinates the program for the Salvation Army. "We bring in hope. We bring people in who are examples of how to live life clean and sober."

And for many inmates for the first time, the message sinks in.

"It's given me a new outlook on life. Before I came in here I was going to continue going down this path for the rest of my life, and now it's like I know that I don't have to do that."

And when they get out of jail the support continues. "When I leave these doors, I will leave on a program called Drug Court, which is something I asked for. It's a year program which will give me classes; I go to AA meetings."

"The men and women in the recovery pods at the Sarasota County Jail spend 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, working on their recovery. And their success at staying sober when they get out of there has been astounding.