Part II: A New Program to Help Women at the Gadsden Facility Succeed After Release

“The purpose of Shaping Success is to, exactly what it says, help the women prepare to be successful upon release,” says Warden Jerry Buscher of MTC’s Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, FL.

If you missed Part I of this story, click here.

This innovative, brand new program, now in operation at the all-female facility, is an intense focus on preparing residents for a successful release from prison. The highly collaborative program targets women 6 to 12 months away from their release and is already making an impact.

Shawndevaya Weaver is a resident involved with the program. “Nobody sends me to prison but me,” she says. “So, if I don’t want to come back to prison, I have to change me. And that’s what I’m working on.”

“This is my third time in prison,” says Amanda Austin, another program participant. “So, to me, it is a very crucial moment. I want to do better, I want to be better, and I want to think better.”

“We’re interested in it because we care,” explains Warden Buscher. “Our job is to rehabilitate and help offenders not come back.”

Rosemari McCaskill is a case manager coach. “This project is on target to be successful,” she says. “This is my dream job.”

“I’m gonna grab some tools,” states Shawndevaya Weaver, “and put it in my toolbox, if I can. I want it as full as I can make it. But I know that I’m ready to change.”

Amanda Austin chocked up as she thought about her life and where she wants to be.

“This time it’s different. I want more out of my life. I’m tired. I am now a grandma, I’m not just a mother, and I want to leave a legacy; a good one, not a bad one. So, to me, it means a lot more. So, I have to put forth the effort, and I’ve always been told nobody’s going to hand anything to you. You have to put forth the work in order to accomplish anything in life. So, that’s why this time, as I stepped on this compound, it was, immediately, ‘What can I do to become a better person? What can I do to change my thinking? What can I do to make sure that when I’m released, after these five years that I have to do, to not come back?’”

About Gadsden Correctional Facility

Gadsden Correctional Facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association—
achieving 100% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in
its most recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the Correctional
Education Association and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).