BELLE GLADE, FL -- Inside the razor wire fencing of Glades Correctional Institution, there's a new attitude wrapped around these walls.
"We are just like people in society that made mistakes and are willing to change," says inmate Lorenzo Jackson.
1,300 inmates woke up Tuesday morning under a new way of life. A life much different than the life of crime they once lived. A life much different than the sentence they're serving.
"I think the really hard parts are people's family's, seeing that, our family's suffer moreso than even ourselves," says Shawn Griffith.
A simple ceremony in the scorching heat made it official. Glades Correctional is now Florida's 4th faith and character based institution. It may seem like just another title however it's changing the focus of incarceration.
Inmates will still follow the rigid rules and strict guidelines but moral character, spiritual resources and positive behavior are now the driving forces. When you sink that into a prison sentence your chances of getting a repeat offender go way down says one official.
"It's about re-entry, how can we effectively put these inmates in a position to re-enter our society and hopefully not go out and victimize other citizens of our state," says Walt McNeil of Florida's Department of Corrections.
It is a huge step for Florida's 2nd oldest prison to make sure a positive life behind bars for inmates carries over to the day when the door opens and freedom stares them in the face.
"It's easy, so easy especially emotionally to fall back to the kind of things that we were involved with when we were younger which originally got us into prison," says Griffith.
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