THE SHIAWASSEE County Sheriff’s Office resurrected its “Inside View” program recently, which allowed a group of Shiawassee County students to tour and experience the jail in all its glory. The county initially implemented the program in the 1980s, but Sheriff Brian BeGole and his team of Inside View volunteer deputies re-introduced the program in November to combat growing juvenile crime in Shiawassee County. The team includes Lieutenant Tamie Wilson, and deputies Jonathan Bonk, Samantha Dolehanty, and James Stafford, who all volunteered to run the program after experiencing a similar program in Allegan County. The program is still in the experimental stages here in Shiawassee County, but Sheriff BeGole hopes to offer the program to students across Shiawassee County in the coming months.

  Deputy Dolehanty can be seen showing the group of middle and high school students the jail’s booking and processing area, where prisoners are strip-searched, fingerprinted, have their mug shots taken, and exchange their belongings for their new jail-issued attire. Dolehanty explained that once a person is accepted into the jail, they are no longer allowed to possess any personal items and must rely on the jail for all of their needs.

  The tour provided the students with the opportunity to experience the jail from nearly the same perspective as an inmate. The experience began in the basement of the jail with a brief presentation that gave students a taste of what they were in for. It was explained that spending time in jail follows a person for the rest of their life, in more than one way. Not only are they labeled as criminals by their peers, but they will forever have to acknowledge their criminal record on government forms and job applications.

  The students began the tour by entering the jail through the garage, just like an inmate would after being arrested. The students were then booked, crammed into a small holding/detoxification cell, shown the inside of a general population cell, and taken to see the second-level recreation room.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

“Inside View” program was last modified: December 11th, 2017 by Karen Elford