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PCSO looking for Valley veterans to serve as mentors in schools, jail

Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 22:00:22-04

A small group in the Pinal County Jail's Housing Unit for Military Veterans, is home to a section of the jail with programs designed to get incarcerated veterans back into society.

Sheriff Mark Lamb says the program works.

"Our recidivism rate right now is at zero," said Lamb. "None of our veterans who have gone through the program have re-offended."

The sheriff is hoping to make the program stronger with help from veterans living in Pinal County, willing to volunteer some of their time to be a mentor.

"They have seen things and done things in many cases that are tough to deal with that only fellow veterans and other people that have been through it can understand," said the sheriff.

Sergeant Roderick Harrison is with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office now, but he served in the Marines. He knows how different life is after the military.

Harrison says the veteran support group isn't just helping the veterans incarcerated, it gives the volunteers a purpose as well. 

The sheriff's office is hoping to add volunteers to schools. They'd be unarmed, but could help build a bond with students.

The sheriff's office says in San Tan Valley alone, there are 26 schools that could benefit from a veteran volunteering -- making a connection with students. 

"You want to make sure that when they see something that's out of place, then they can bring it up and say, is this normal," said Roderick. 

The sheriff says there's no limit on the number of volunteers he needs. Lamb figures the more volunteers, the more veterans and students who can be helped. For more information, click here.