Online Originals: Pitt Co. SHARP program positively impacts inmates

Online Originals


Since the implementation of the Sheriff’s Heroin Addiction Recovery Program (SHARP) in July, inmates at the Pitt County Detention Center have started to see life in a new way.

The voluntary program brings in educators, support specialists and faith-based groups to work with the inmates.

Anger management and therapy are also a part of the process in addition to a 12 step process led by Narcotics Anonymous.

One inmate, David Byrd, has been in the program since the start and says it makes him want to be a better person and father.

“It’s a program to teach you to change your life, your thought process, be mindful and learn to use your resources when you leave,” says Byrd.

David Byrd’s story:

David Byrd has been in and out of jail his whole life and at the Pitt County Detention Center since January.

“I’ve been caught up in the lifestyle since I was young,” said Byrd. “I’ve either used or sold drugs since I was 15. Never tried to change my life. Any time that I did try to do it, I did it for someone else. This time I’m doing it for myself. It makes a big difference.”

Byrd says he feels a lot better because of the program and that his whole thought process has changed.

He also has enjoyed helping other inmates also going through the program and notices changes in their behaviors.

“The way they think, the way they talk, the music they listen to…just everything. The way they talk to their people on the phone, it’s like night and day,” said Byrd.

Recently, participants in the SHARP had a parents and family day.

Family members came out to the detention center to have lunch and spend time with their loved ones.

“It was real special,” said Byrd. “I have a 9 year old, well she’s 8 getting ready to turn nine, we got to do arts and crafts together. We got to spend a couple hours together and eat Chick-fil-A. It was a real special moment.”

Byrd has court on Thursday to see if he will be released and believes the program has helped his chances.

When asked what he would take with him if he is released, Byrd says he will take his thought process.

“I’m going to use the resources that we’ve been given in here. There’s a lot of resources that we never used when we left here. We just went right back to the same thing and this time it’s not going to be like that,” said Byrd.

He would advise others that if they want to change their lives, to work the program and it will have a positive impact.

He is grateful to Sheriff Paula Dance for the opportunity to participate in the program.

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