August 20, 2018
The message scrolling across the TV screens last week in the Fairfax County Adult Detention (ADC) advertised a two-hour addiction recovery workshop on Sunday. Nearly 40 inmates submitted a request form to participate. For the past several months, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid has met with groups of inmates throughout the ADC to hear about their addiction struggles and to share with them her plans to create an intensive, peer-led recovery program later this year.
Imagine the surprise when these incarcerated men and women walked into the large ADC gym and learned that the workshop would be a concert performed by singer/song writer Matt Butler. He is a recovering addict who travels the country to give hope and purpose to those who feel helpless like he once did. He has staged concerts at several correctional facilities along the way.
An inmate named Samantha attended the concert and described the experience as awesome. “I was inspired and motivated to see someone who had changed from being an addict to a person achieving his goals and dreams. And he wants to come back to jails and prisons to share his life stories to give us strength and hope.”
Among the songs he performed at the Fairfax ADC was “Just One,” which he wrote for Generation Found, a documentary about a community coming together to start a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. The song is about knowing what a difference you can make even by helping just one person.
“I think I ask too many questions
And I know I’ll never understand
How to help all those around me
When I am just one man
And there’s so many who feel helpless
That there’s just too much to be done
But I know that it makes all the difference
That revolution has begun
If I can help just one
And he can help just one
And she can help just one
If we can help just one”
The Sheriff’s Office recovery program participants will be housed in a direct supervision unit, where specially trained deputies will provide oversight, guidance and security. The day-to-day activities and group sessions will be run by peers, that is, people who are in long-term recovery.
“To be successful,” said Sheriff Kincaid, “the program has to be genuine. It must address underlying trauma, restore dignity, provide hope and create a plan for a sober future.”