Danville jail inmates graduate from new drug rehab program

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) The first inmates taking part in a new drug rehab program in the Danville City Jail graduated Friday.

Danielle Staub/WDBJ7

Derek Linder was released from jail Friday. He says the rehab program changed his life and he plans to prove that to his family and this community.

"Throw my arms around my wife. First of all apologize to her and my family for taking them down this road again," Linder said.

Linder is one of five graduates of the Alpha Program, an intensive drug rehab program for inmates at the Danville City Jail.

Those who are accepted into the program are placed in a separate dorm.

"Coping skills, anger management, recovery and relapse prevention. Gaining a sense of why the addiction started to begin with," Behavioral health counselor Christyn Swinney said.

Jail leaders say they brought the program to Danville to help fight the drug problem. After 12 weeks, the inmates leave the jail but still participate in an outpatient program for another 36 weeks.

"I hope that they maintain long term sobriety. And gain a recovery life style," Swinney said.

Linder praises the program.

"[It's] a whole person program. It forces you to deal with physical mental emotional and all sorts of other things that co inside with that destructive lifestyle that I had become so accustomed to," Linder said.

Leaders say it may take years to determine whether the program is a success in reducing recidivism in the jail.