Bell making changes at jail one step at a time

By Chris Cooper - [email protected]

Carolyn Bell and Logan County Jail Phil Gregory

Believing in someone is easy when they’ve given you no reason not to. But if you’re one of the many who have fallen short, finding someone to believe in you is sometimes difficult. For Carolyn Bell, it’s not the mistakes that keep a person down, but the lack of belief in themselves that can keep someone from moving past them. This is Bell’s belief and she uses it to show others that giving up is not an option, but getting up is.

Bell is a Lead Instructor for Logan County Adult Education. She works at the Logan County Detention Center full-time teaching people who have made mistakes, but should not be counted out.

“I never excuse behavior,” said Bell. “Taking responsibility is crucial in being able to change your life for the better.”

Bell believes everyone deserves to better themselves. After all, we are all God’s children, she says. Some people make big enough mistakes that can affect their lives for their entire lifetime. However, it is never to late to try and become a productive part of the planet.

There are many programs in the county detention center that help those who reside there change for the better, and it’s working. The GED program, which Bell teaches, is an important piece of the puzzle that works toward keeping people from coming back to jail once they leave.

“A lot of people for one reason or another did not benefit from school when they were younger,” said Bell. Dropping out seems to be a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, it can cause a ripple effect keeping a person from realizing their true potential.

By earning your GED you will be qualified for better employment opportunities. In today’s world, especially, the more education a person has, the better his or her chances for success. There are opportunities which are simply not available to a person who does not have the basics of education as a foundation.

Education, for Bell, is extremely important.

A GED is a means of personal satisfaction. Regardless of your age, if you dropped out of high school at some point in the past, it is likely that you have always sensed the lack of something very important.

From September to December 2016, 10 inmates at the Logan County Detention Center earned their GED, said Bell, who has her Masters Degree in Developmental Adult Education. “For me learning is an all life activity.”

Another part of the puzzle Bell teaches at the detention center is the Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) program. Bell is employed by the Logan County Detention Center to teach this important program. MRT is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. Its cognitive-behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth.

MRT takes the form of group and individual counseling using structured group exercises and prescribed homework assignments. The MRT workbook is structured around 16 objectively defined steps (units) focusing on seven basic treatment issues: confrontation of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors; assessment of current relationships; reinforcement of positive behavior and habits; positive identity formation; enhancement of self-concept; decrease in hedonism and development of frustration tolerance; and development of higher stages of moral reasoning.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction working at the detention center,” said Bell. “It’s very exciting to see the look on their faces when they finally get it.”

Phil Gregory, Logan County’s Jailer, says Bell is a fabulous asset to the inmates and the community.

“With her extensive knowledge and her passion for people, there is bound to be lives changed through her presence here. We couldn’t be more happy to have Ms. Bell working at the jail,” said Gregory.

Carolyn Bell and Logan County Jail Phil Gregory Bell and Logan County Jail Phil Gregory

By Chris Cooper

[email protected]

To contact Chris Cooper, emial [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, emial [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.

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