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Finding his way back

Franklin County inmate hopes Day Reporting Center can keep him out of jail

Franklin County inmate hopes Day Reporting Center can keep him out of jail

August 24, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

Editor's note: This is the second in an occasional series of stories about the Franklin County Day Reporting Center and those to whom it offers a second chance.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sometimes, knowing the answer doesn't make a question any easier.

Brian Cline nervously twisted his plastic wristband during a series of uncomfortable questions thrown at him last Tuesday afternoon. Included were queries about his criminal history, substance abuse, relationships and schooling.

Cline's case manager, Daniel Priego, jotted down responses for a "risk assessment" that serves as a foundation for Cline's time at the Franklin County Day Reporting Center. DRC programs are designed to help Cline stay out of jail in the future.

For that to happen, Cline feels it's imperative he find and hold onto a job.

"Alcohol has been a big factor in why I haven't been able to keep a job. ... It led me down a road I never wanted to be on," he said.

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Priego and Cline worked together Thursday to strengthen Cline's résumé. Priego asked questions such as "What tools did you use?" and "Did you ever read blueprints?" in an effort to provide better descriptions about Cline's fence installation, welding and carnival jobs.

When Cline left the DRC an hour and a half later, he had several copies of his new résumé and an e-mail address to use when applying for jobs online.

Cline, 24, said he dropped out of the Waynesboro (Pa.) Area School District in ninth grade to pay child support. First, he installed fences and laid patio pavers for more than five years.

"It shows you have stability, that you're not a job hopper," Priego told Cline.

Cline later worked in welding at Grove Manufacturing (now Manitowoc) and Jerr-Dan, both in the Greencastle, Pa., area. He was drinking daily and lasted no longer than five months at either, he said.

Cline spent most of 2008 and some of 2009 operating carnival rides in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. The job ended when Cline went to Franklin County Jail on a probation violation connected to an assault on several police officers.

Cline left jail earlier this month and started rehabilitation programs at the DRC. Stacy Spoonhour is making that same transition herself this week, completing two-thirds of her jail sentence and reporting to the DRC for the first time.

Spoonhour's attorney told her the DRC was a way for her to leave jail sooner and reunite with her two children, who have been staying with a relative two hours away. Spoonhour, of Chambersburg, said she is ashamed of being in jail and only admitted her situation to the children three weeks ago.

"I want to finish the DRC program and start college for physical therapy," said Spoonhour during an interview last week at cell block A's professional visiting room. "I'd just like to help people."

A jail counselor explained the DRC will help Spoonhour, who was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, look at her issues, barriers and goals. Some fellow inmates have talked disparagingly about the DRC programs, according to Spoonhour.

"Everybody says it's a set-up to come back here," she said.

However, Spoonhour said the prospect of joining her 8-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son at the pool and movie theater will keep her on the right path.

"I want to support my kids," she said.

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