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Inmates Make New Year’s Resolutions

"There’s not time like the present, and I’m not getting any younger."

Winchester, Va. - Keeping a new year's resolution is hard enough for most, but what about for those that are in need of a major overhaul?

Jail time can be a real wake up call, but inmates at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, are using that time to make their own new year's resolutions.

"There’s not time like the present, and I’m not getting any younger," said inmate Matthew Linaweaver.

"I find myself where I am on New Year’s Eve, and it just gives you more motivation to not come back here for the next one," inmate Amber Brinklow said.

But a New Year's resolution is hard enough for someone who's never had a drug addiction or served time.

"Our inmates, they're behind the 8-ball right off the bat,” said Andy Anderson, Director of Programs at the jail. “One, they're a felon. Two, most of them have to go on and serve probation. Three, they may or may not have a job. Four, they may not have a home, and then they're released into that environment, and we expect them to succeed," he said.

But there’s hope. Once an inmate arrives at the jail, they can begin a 90 day program that will teach them the life skills they need that will help them accomplish their personal resolutions.

"It teaches you about your addictions, as well as human relations, anger management, the financial aspect of it all," said Linaweaver.

"I volunteered to go. I asked my probation officer if I could come to jail and do this program. It's something i had to be violated to do. So I came willingly," said Rebecca “Bex” Heflin, another inmate at the jail.

The program motivates the inmates by encouraging them to think about something bigger than themselves.

"I want to help other people - like that's probably the biggest thing that I could do. If I can help someone else, that helps me," said inmate Eric Heidenreich.

Equipped with motivation, accountability and tools to help them succeed, these inmates are confident that they can take on the challenges of 2014 - and life after jail.

I got a lot of things that I want to do, a lot of goals, and I look forward to it. 2014's the year. Bring it on!" said Linaweaver.

Alongside never going back to jail, and staying sober, many of the inmates told us that they looked forward to rebuilding their relationships with family members and others close to them.

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