COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Muscogee County Jail is on a mission to help incarcerated men become better fathers to their children through one of its programs.
More than 300 men have gone through the Fatherhood Dorms program since it started three years ago.
Richard Lucas, 22, became a father a week before going to jail four months ago.
"He won't make the same mistakes and end up where I am," said Lucas.
Because of the program, he says the process of staying on the right track will be easier.
"We teach these men to teach their kids how to read. Because there is some data that shows 62 percent of kids that are not read to by age four end up incarcerated," said Neil Richardson, Chaplain of the Muscogee County Jail.
Fatherhood Dorms is a seven-week program teaching those in the class to be responsible fathers, how to spend time with their children, and how to be better role models.
"We want them to not come back. We don't want to be a very busy sheriff's office at the county jail," said Sheriff John Darr.
The men in this cell get weekly visits and talks from various leaders in the community about different topics of fatherhood.
"I got the topic of fathering and fun with your kids. I have four kids but they are grown but I have grand kids so I get to do a lot of that stuff again," said Sheriff Darr.
The eight men in the cell say their decision to join Fatherhood Dorms was all voluntary. When Richard Lucas leaves jail in a few weeks, he's already gained some valuable advice from the program.
"It don't matter where you come from, it's about where you trying to go and show your child how to get there too," said Lucas.
The current class will graduate and move out the fatherhood dorms on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. in Recorders Court.