Facility a positive addition to Columbiana

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Editor:

I recently had the opportunity to attend the dedication ceremony of the new Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility in Columbiana.

I must admit that I attended the dedication not really knowing what to expect. My knowledge of the facility and its intended purpose was probably much like the majority of other residents of Columbiana.

I believed it to be a correctional complex to house “less violent” individuals from other prisons. My belief and knowledge was very short-sighted.

What I found was a facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and education of both males and females who were about to reenter society.

The physical plant was spotless in its appearance.

Sleeping quarters, corridors, dining room, classrooms — all were neat, clean and well-kept. The entire facility was permanently decorated with statements of positive reinforcement. There were no negative feelings at all.

Everything you observed or heard was put forth in a positive attitude. The staff appeared to be very knowledgeable and dedicated to their respective assignments.

The “residents” (as they are called), rather than just existing in some cubicle, were attending vocational classes and/or counseling sessions. Some were actually working toward their GEDs.

This is a facility and program that the residents of Columbiana can point to with pride and assurance.

The mayor and city council and all those responsible for bringing such a facility and program to Columbiana should be applauded.

I would highly recommend that if other possibilities are given to the general public to tour the Therapeutic Education Facility, everyone should avail themselves of the opportunity.