CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Inside the concrete walls of the Chesterfield County Jail is a house of hope for dozens of women.
The program is called HARP or Heroin Addiction Recovery Program.
Three hundred women have completed the program since it launched for women in 2016.
8News spoke with participants after sitting in on a group session called “Feelings and Focus.”
“Even though it’s a jail, it’s not to me,” said Pam Holloway. “It’s more than that. It’s the program that’s going to save my life.”
The Heroin Addiction Recovery Program, or HARP, works with 44 men and women in the jail.
Each morning the women gather in a circle and take part in sharing their journey of addiction.
Another participant in the program, Monica Swain, spoke with 8News about the impact HARP has had on her.
“I’ve got a really amazing group of women and a really great program here,” Swain explained. “Thanks to the sheriff that allows me to get through this sober.”
It’s a struggle to talk through the pain for some. Surrounded by messages of hope, many participants shed tears as they open up about their recovery.
“I don’t want to have to attend any more funerals because of this disease,” said one participant, Alexandra “Ally” Goldstein. “This disease has taken way too many people out of my life.”
For others, like 35-year-old Jodi Gayan, these sessions offer a breakthrough.
“This makes me realize that this just doesn’t affect me,” said Gayan.
Incarcerated for over two years, Jodi faces multiple drug-related charges. Drugs dominated Gayan’s life from age 13.
“Before I got in here I was a wreck, um, you wouldn’t have recognized me you wouldn’t have wanted to know me,” said Gayan.
Jodi and the other ladies take part in daily classes, hoping to make a difference for themselves and others.
“I’d like to think I’ll be a motivational speaker one day,” Gayan said.
The BBC will soon stop by the jail to do a feature on the program.
Tune in to 8News on Sunday night when we will share more of Jodi’s story, along with the stories of Pam and a few other ladies we spoke to.