Harris County Jail is taking steps to help incarcerated veterans re-enter society, going to so far as to redecorate their part of the building with patriotic trappings.
The section of the jail where veteran inmates are housed has the insignias of all U.S. military branches painted on the wall, patriotic murals like one featuring a bald eagle, and even red, white and blue paint on the bunks.
The inmates are enrolled in a program that helps prepare them for re-entry into society, and makes mental health assistance available to them if they need it, according to Houston Public Media.
“It doesn’t make it feel like they’re incarcerated,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “It makes them feel like they’re still serving.”
Several inmates in the program thanked Sheriff Gonzalez when he visited the prison Friday, saying it has helped them focus and gain back some self-confidence.
“I know what I need to do to stay clean and sober, and I’m willing to do that today,” said Alejandro Hernández, a U.S. Army veteran enrolled in the re-entry program.
“I know genuine and I know truth, and it’s there,” said another inmate about the program and Sheriff Gonzalez’ commitment to the incarcerated veterans at Harris County Jail.