More than 100 inmates graduate from Bible-based program -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

More than 100 inmates graduate from Bible-based program

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More than 100 inmates graduated from a bible-based program at the Corrections Corporation of America's Bradshaw State Jail.

The inmates in Friday's ceremony completed 26 weeks of coursework from the Institute for Basic Life Principles in order to graduate; it is a program that teaches inmates life skills and character development.

"It's not just a piece of paper, it's something more. When you are working with these people, they came discouraged, depressed, maybe they know they can't make it and today, you can really see a different man," said Chaplain Alfredo Salvatore.

For many of these men, and their loved ones, this certificate represents a life transformation.

"I could never tell you how much I appreciate seeing my son and being able to touch my son and hug him, and see the dedication these leaders have given to try to help them change their lives and reform their lives. I could never express that to you, I could never thank God enough for the changes in his life," said Janice Reeves whose son, James, graduated from the program on Friday.

James said this program has changed his life.

"It showed me where as a son, that I had failed them and how to be a better son, and then on top of that to be a better husband and father to my children. I realized I had a lot of flaws and a lot of mistake and through that I want to take what I've learned and go apply it to my family and show them because actions are louder than words," James explained.

On Friday, James was joined by not only his mother, but his sister and niece as well, family who said this program is an answer to prayer.

"It gives him hope and I see that," James' sister, Tammie explained.  It just gives him something to believe in. It makes him stronger and being here, he needs everything he can get a hold of. You know, it's hard to be here and when you know that God is with you, it just makes things easier," she said. 

"If it wasn't for God or my family, this would probably be the hardest thing I've ever had to do," James said.

His time spent in this program has also given him a plan.

"When I get out, I plan on trying to go to a bible college and continue under a study of another pastor or preacher and carry that on to wherever God takes me," James said.

Bradshaw State Jail partners with the State of Texas to offer inmates a variety of faith-based, educational programming.

Chaplain Salvatore said there are more than 200 inmates enrolled in the program.

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