TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa County Detention Center is promoting "Our kids are worth fighting for" initiative by providing opportunities for incarcerated youth looking to better themselves.
So many of the young people locked up, officials said have made tremendous progress since the facility started offering programs that introduce them to a better way of life once they leave jail walls.
"It's not lecturing them it's actual hands-on experience," said The Tuscaloosa County Detention Center Director Cathy Wood.
Welding has been a hit with many of the teens eager to find a purpose.
On top of providing a welding class, detention director Cathy Wood said they recently became a GED testing site.
"I've given them all I've got while we've got it. We're just trying to pour it in them and plant those seeds," said Wood.
With the help of her staff Wood believes those seeds will grow, just like the garden they have out back.
They've also got an animal therapy program, which is another activity earned by good behavior.
Perception Wood explains is their biggest problem.
"If you've never been or been exposed to a troubled child it's easy to assume they are just a bunch of thugs," said Wood.
She said that's not always true, many of them have been through the unimaginable and just want a fresh start.
"Hopefully the kids can leave better than what they came," said Wood.
The center plans to expand their welding and GED program since the response has been huge.
Wood said they want to add on to the building where it's currently housed.
If you're interested in helping the Tuscaloosa County Detention Center expand their programs check out the info below:
- Checks should be made out to Tuscaloosa Childcare Association.
- Memo should denote Education Fund
- Donations can be mailed to the following address:
Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center
5941 12th Avenue East
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405
Attention: Cathy Joiner Wood