Demetrus Coonrod mentors inmates about how not to go back to jail
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod spoke to a group of women in Silverdale Detention Facility today.
It was part of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Program.
Councilwoman Coonrod told the women that she had blown opportunities like a scholarship and ended up in the revolving door of jail time, release, and then back to jail.
She told them that at one point she was facing 39 years to life.
Coonrod made up her mind she would do whatever it took to straighten out her life outside, so once released, she’d never have to worry about returning again.
She talked about what it was like returning for the first time since then, and giving back to help others follow her footsteps.
“It reminded me of when, and it just sparked that fire, re-energized it again, like this is your why. This is your why. You have to give back. Empower those young ladies – not just the ladies, but the men if I get the opportunity to do that as well, so they’ll know and understand that it doesn’t stop here for them.”
The Re-entry program started in 2018, and focuses on helping inmates be prepared for life outside the facility, so they are less likely to return.