More than 22,000 people are currently incarcerated in the state of Alabama and more than 60 percent of the offenders have drug and alcohol related sentences.
The Herring House of Dothan is a facility that helps recovering addicts reshape their lives. The facility operates closely with the Houston County Community Corrections, rehabilitating alcohol and substance abusers to prevent re-entry into crime.
Robin Cook, a volunteer at Herring House, said, "I think it's one of the best things that could happen for a person in recovery; it gives them a chance to get firmly grounded in the recovery process."
The Herring House facilities can house up to 43 people and accepts recovering addicts that do well in the Community Corrections Work Release Program.
"We take people from out of the community corrections program from Houston, Coffee & Dale counties and reintegrate them into the community where we treat their substance abuse and alcohol problems to try to lower the recidivism rate; to try and lower the rate of re-offense, re-convictions for felonies & re-ntry into the criminal justice program," said Larry Kirkland, Exec. Director Southeast Intervention Group.
Nearly 20 years ago, Cook was an alcohol abuser and nowadays, he volunteers at the Herring House because he feels he can be a role model for those involved in the programs.
"I have a sense of duty; it's payback to the community. It's very rewarding. Like I say, recovery is a way of life, it's a way you live, not what you do," says Cook.
And, that way of life at the Herring House includes daily counseling, community service and coming home by curfew.
"We depend on the governor's faith based initiative program, that runs out of the governor's office for funding, to operate programs like this," adds Kirkland.
"I do believe that we can be role models; ya know, seeing people living in recovery, and I'm just hoping I can make a difference in some young peoples lives," said Cook.
The Herring House facility recently acquired another house on Herring Street that can house 14 people.