GATE CITY — Not long ago, Megan Potts was struggling to rebuild her life after being arrested.
While she would normally have been incarcerated at the Duffield Regional Jail, Potts and some other nonviolent offenders now have the chance to stay at home overnight and work off their sentences during the day through the county’s new work program, called SCOTT Service.
Potts shared her story with the Scott County Board of Supervisors at its Wednesday meeting and credited the program for the positive changes she’s made in her life.
“After getting in trouble for dealing with something like I dealt with, it’s really hard to rebuild your life,” Potts said. “You’ve hurt so many people; you’ve destroyed relationships that are really hard to build back. This program has given me that opportunity. I’m really thankful for that.”
Through various community projects that SCOTT Service participants complete, Potts said she’s gotten a chance to get back out into the community and show people how her life has improved.
“People can see the changes that I’ve made, the difference that I’ve made, and it feels good to feel accomplished and to feel wanted and needed,” Potts said. “I appreciate that more than anything.”
The program has also allowed Potts to reconnect with her children.
“I have three children, and I was not allowed to speak to them; I was not allowed to contact them,” Potts said. “At this point, I’m staying with my children, and that means a lot to me.”
More than the money
SCOTT Service was created to reduce the county’s rising inmate costs at the Duffield Regional Jail. While the cost savings has been a major benefit, Supervisor Danny Mann said the success stories are more important.
“This is a result that we wouldn’t normally see; we’ve seen something here that’s very positive,” Mann said. “This, to me, is more important than anything about dollars we save.”
Jessica Keith, who helps coordinate the SCOTT Service program through the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, echoed Mann’s praise.
“We’re very thankful for Megan and all of our participants,” Keith said. “They do a wonderful job.”