Bexar Sheriff Starts 'Dad Class' In County Jail

The Bexar County Sheriff's Department has started a new program for men at the jail...teaching them how to be fathers.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports there is a proven link between abuse as a child, generally at the hands of a father or a male in the house, and crime later on in life.

"We are able to end the cycle and save a generation, by topping these men from committing the same things," said Patrick Ortiz of the Children's Shelter, who runs the program.

The program has just finished its first year at the Bexar County Jail.  Ortiz says about thirty men have graduated and several are remaining with the program on the outside becoming mentors to other troubled men.

"These men are able to go home and help the families and they can also come back into society and realize that they are important."

While claims of childhood abuse are often seen as a way for criminals to deflect blame, experts say there is a serious connection, and programs like this in the county jail can not only give prisoners a sense of purpose, but can also help make sure that their sons are not occupying a five by nine cell on Comal Street twenty years from now.

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