ROCKVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - In many prisons, 25 or even 50 percent of the inmates willcommit crimes and return to prison. However, a Wabash Valley prisonis working with long-time addicts to make sure they don't comeback.
The Rockville Correctional Facility is fighting the war ondrugs inside the prison walls. The C.L.I.F.F. program (Clean Livingis Freedom Forever) is a specialized, intensive nine-month rehabprogram. It's also one of the most successful prison rehabs in thecountry.
Every woman in prison has a story and Leanna and Annie's are nodifferent than anyone else in the C.L.I.F.F. program.
"When I was out there in my addiction, I chose death," Leanna, arecovering cocaine addict, said. "I've overdosed severaltimes."
"I was staying on the streets," Annie, another recovering heroinaddict, said. "Full-blown addict, I mean, I was the worst, I did itall."
From the dim, desperate corners of prison to the C.L.I.F.F. dormyou can definitely tell a difference. In the elite prison drugdorm, there are splashes of color, coupled with inspirationalwords, you wouldn't know it houses some of the worst drugaddicts.
Leanna spends most of her time in therapy with her peers butsoon she's be back on the outside, struggling to stay sober.
"I have to be able to cope with being able to go past a liquorstore," Leanna said. "I have to be able to cope with my family andset boundaries that are still in their addiction."
This isn't Leanna's first time in prison but she said it's herlast.
"Today, I have goals, plans for my future, I have hope and I canlook at myself in the mirror and like the person I see, I lovemyself," Leanna said.
While Leanna plans for her new future, Annie is concentratingon her new journey to recovery. Looking at Annie you'd never knowthe young mother's dark struggle with heroin.
"I was so unhealthy in every way, I was almost dead, my spiritwas dead," Annie said. "You gotta fill it with good stuff so youdon't feel like there's an emptiness."
Annie's found her own way to fill the darkness by getting herbody healthy and her spirit.
Annie and Leanna are two very different women who share onegreat fear: Relapsing and returning to prison.
The inmates are putting their hope into the program, hoping tostay sober, hoping to stay out of prison. Statistically, theirchances are good, out of a dozen women, only one will return toprison.
The success of C.L.I.F.F. is written all over the walls, womenpaint murals, showcasing their own hopes for the future. It doesn'tlook like prison, but for many of the women it may be their lastchance for survival.
"You do have a second chance, prison has saved my life," Leannasaid.
Meanwhile, Annie continues her recovery hoping for a betterlife and to be a better mother.
Leanna is expected to be released from prison this month. Sheplans on attending college.
As for Annie she's still serving time, writing songs andpoetry, some of which are being published.
Right on cue, Thursday’s early winter storm dumped snow and ice on the Wabash Valley but county highway crews were a step ahead of the weather’s arrival pre-treating the 897 miles of pavement in the county.
A fire has engulfed the First Prairie Creek Church in Vigo County.
A four car accident in eastern Vigo County leaves one person dead.
Workers at a new eatery in Terre Haute are preparing to open.
Otter Creek Township is on its way to getting a new fire station.
Knox County Commissioner Don Halter is ahead of the game when it comes to winter weather preparedness. But the man-power may have a hard time running full throttle. The Knox County highway budget took big cuts in 2013.