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Chesapeake Sheriff cuts ribbon on correctional facility expansion

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – An expansion at the Chesapeake Jail aims to help inmates overcome one of the biggest obstacles they’ll face upon their release: Finding a job.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan and Mayor Rick West cut the ribbon on the new 47,000 square foot facility known as the “Community Programs Center.”

The facility will not only house inmates, but also holds a barber shop, classrooms and a repair shop to help them learn skills while behind bars. The sheriff’s office says it will also serve as home base for the jail’s work force and work release programs, the former saving Chesapeake more than $2 million in 2017, the sheriff’s office says.

The goal being to help inmates find a job after their release.

“People in here need a second chance. A lot of them aren’t bad people,” said Sheriff O’Sullivan in a plea to potential employers. “They made a bad decision so make a good decision by giving them a second chance and you will see loyalty from a lot of these people. They’re hardworking and will do a good job for you.

Wednesday’s ribbon cutting began with a speech from the sheriff followed by a tour of the new facility, which saw construction begin in 2016.

The sheriff called the opening the proudest moment in his law enforcement career.