MACON, Ga. -- The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is restarting its 'Consider the Consequences' course after a year without any classes due to the pandemic.
The course is meant to show young people who've been in trouble the consequences they could face.
"We are trying to turn them around where they will not have to go to jail," says Captain Ellis Sinclair. "What we've noticed, it is juveniles, if they get a love for crime and someone doesn't get in there to steer them around, they end up being one of the criminals."
Sinclair says many of the kids who've come through the program have experienced problems with drugs and stealing. He adds there are also kids who've had issues in school.
The course gives young people the chance to experience what being in the jail and going through the criminal process would be like--from getting booked and receiving a jumpsuit, to making their first court appearance, as well as spending time in the jail just like an inmate would.
Participants spend eight hours going through the course.
'Consider the Consequences' was forced to stop in March of 2020 as the pandemic began to rage across the world.
Sinclair tells WGXA having the program back is important to the community.
"Parents are telling us that their child is off the chain and they are asking us what they should do. It is important that we get this program back up."
He says if the Sheriff's Office can impact the young people in the program, those same young people will be the ones to make a difference in the community when they're older.
Sinclair has been involved with the program since its inception in 2015. He says he's seen the impact it makes on young people.
"They tell me they've got jobs now and that they were so thankful to go through the program because it made them realize that was not the way."
Once a child goes through the program, they can attend monthly classes at the Buck Melton Center.
The first course for June 25 is full.
The Sheriff's Office is already preparing for the July session.
According to Sinclair once a parent calls, they do an interview with the Sheriff's Office without the child to discuss the problems they've been facing.
For more on how to register for the course, call 478-751-7500 or Captain Ellis Sinclair at 478-447-2326.
"We are trying to turn their lives around because there are two places they will wind up. They'll wind up at somebody's jail or they'll wind up in the cemetery if they keep traveling down that road of crime."