Helping Women Inmates Succeed Inside Jail -

Helping Women Inmates Succeed Inside Jail

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The Mecklenburg County Jail houses around 1300 inmates.

Of those, nearly 10% of them are women.

Around 6 years ago, the jail organized a program to help women succeed while serving time.

We went inside the jail and talked to some women who’ve spent time behind bars.

“I have been to jail numerous times, I’ve lost count,” said Tonia Gaddy.

“I was here for 10 months for conspiracy to robbery. I got out last July,” said Kandice Brown.

“I know some people say jail is bad – but it changed my life,” said Shanriqua Henderson.

Tonia Gaddy reunites with her former inmates. She’s now dressed in an elegant black suit - a stark contrast from the maroon jump suit she once wore.

“I was tired of living in and out of jail. I was coming in and out of jail and losing my kids, and I got tired,” said Gaddy.

Gaddy, and several other women spent time inside the facility. But it’s what they did inside, that helped them get ready for their time outside.

“I used to be a really spiteful person. After I took these classes, and I’m in change choices, I have a job, I can support my family – life wasn’t that bad,” said Kandice Brown.

“Had I not come to jail, I would still be doing what I was doing,’ said Shanriqua Henderson.

“I took a culinary class, GED school,” said Gaddy.

There are several classes from religion, art, anger management to name a few.

Some of the women even train for job skills like working at the jail library.

“Coming to jail – most people don’t want to. You can make the best out of a bad situation,” said Gaddy.

Gaddy says she’s not only learned from her mistake – but is looking forward to the road ahead.

“I am never coming through those doors again. Life is good without crime,” said Gaddy.

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