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DRC clients continue to look ahead

December 27, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

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

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- While Stacy Spoonhour was engaged in a snowball fight with her children a week ago, Brian Cline passed the time in his prison cell.

Spoonhour and Cline are at very different points in their lives, despite being released from the Franklin County (Pa.) Jail less than a month apart this summer.

Spoonhour has entered Phase 3 of behavior modification programs at the Franklin County Day Reporting Center (DRC) and says she's excited for graduation. Not all is rosy, though, as the 29-year-old continues to search for housing and work.

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Cline, who absconded from the DRC in August, is again in jail.

"I was starting to drink as much as I used to," he said.

Cline, 25, said he had a falling out with someone, then drank alcohol and smoked marijuana. He feared a failed urine test during check-in at the DRC would mean an automatic return to jail, so he left. Cline traveled south to obtain employment with a carnival system with whom he worked previously.

Had he known the DRC and his probation officer would have given him another chance, Cline said he wouldn't have run away.

"I just didn't want to come to jail," he said.

But authorities caught up with Cline on Oct. 7.

Spoonhour, the DRC's "client of the month" in September, said she appreciates good feedback from her case manager. A $100 gift card anonymously sent to Spoonhour by a Herald-Mail reader allowed her to buy Transformers toys, a Hannah Montana doll and books for her children for Christmas.

"I'm not used to people being nice, especially people I don't know," Spoonhour said.

Being in Phase 3 means Spoonhour checks in with the DRC three days a week. She continues drug and alcohol classes, and she recently started Step 10 of moral recognition therapy. In that step, clients are asked what they want to change and what they've already changed. They also are asked with whom they'd trade places if they could; Spoonhour selected the cousin who takes her children to school.

"I'm very proud of her," she said. "She's seven months older than me."

Spoonhour hopes to find a job while in Phase 3, which is the final phase of regular check-in before after-care.

Cline said a Jan. 15 court appearance will determine whether he can return to the DRC. He said he feels he could be successful the second time around if he avoids alcohol.

"I need to stay away from it because it leads me back here every time," Cline said in a jailhouse interview.

Since age 20, Cline has been in and out of jail for charges such as driving under the influence and simple assault. He left the carnival with the intent of traveling to Ohio with a girlfriend, stopping in Waynesboro, Pa., on the way.

"I was home for an hour and the state cops arrived," he said.

Cline restarted moral recognition therapy in jail.

"Every time you start over, it makes you look deeper at yourself," he said.

He's also participating in work release at an insulation manufacturer.

"It's been a long time since I had a legitimate job," Cline said.

Spoonhour, meanwhile, continues her job hunt. She says finding regular employment is a big part of her second chance.

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