Recovery Program is First Ever in Cole County Jail

2 years 8 months 2 weeks ago June 02, 2014 Jun 2, 2014 Monday, June 02 2014 Monday, June 02, 2014 9:30:00 PM CDT in News
By: Madison Conklin, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Jail is employing a first-ever outside volunteer to work with inmates to prevent drug and substance abuse recidivism.

Heather Gieck is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. She is also the peer health adviser for female inmates, and has run the recovery program every Sunday for the past two years. 

"So I struggled with addiction from an early age. By the age of 12 I was an alcoholic and from about that time up until I was 35 years old was when I finally ended up in prison," said Gieck. 

Her recovery program is faith based, and is meant to bring the message of the gospel and recovery to inmates incarcerated for addiction.

Gieck's mission to bring recovery to other struggling addicts started when she spoke to one of her past teacher's gym class. This particular gym class, Health and Wellness, is a semester-long class targeted toward at-risk tenth graders.

Gieck had been searching for ways to get treatment into jails for many years, and about three years ago she went to Sheriff Greg White and gave him her idea.

"I asked him if I could bring the message of recovery and the message of the gospel into the jail," said Gieck. 

White said he is always skeptical of people who want to volunteer in an unfamiliar environment, but wanted to know more about Gieck's plan.

"In this particular case I wanted to speak with her. She spoke with me, my chief deputy and some others, and Heather is real. She's been through the ringer herself, she's come out and she's one of the people who has pulled herself up by her boot straps," remembers White. 

The program allows inmates to hear Gieck's story, talk about their own lives, focus on positive change, recite bible verses and listen to gospel music.

White said Gieck works well with her clientele, bringing recovery to people who adore her.

While her program is positive in many ways, Gieck said she has seen a few of the same faces come through the jail and through her program, "Unfortunately it seems to be a revolving door for many women." 

A majority of individuals going in, out and back into jail is due to drug abuse, said White. 

Gieck said, "Until an addict is willing to open up their mind, body and spirit to recovery and God, he/she may never end the vicious cycle that is addiction." 

Gieck said she has been a product of addiction all of her life, but since recovering and finding God she said her life has never been the same. 

"I am now learning how to be a mom to my three children, a good mom," adds Gieck. 

This year marks her eighth year of sobriety and she is expecting her first granddaughter in May. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is about to get the renovation its been hoping for. The small airport currently flies... More >>
1 hour ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:37:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are joining the investigation into... More >>
1 hour ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:06:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City City Council will vote Monday evening on the Truman Hotel Urban Renewal Plan. ... More >>
2 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's new first lady, Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, said she is committed to keeping politics separate from her... More >>
2 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:30:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In the past two decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses has skyrocketed, and the medical community has... More >>
5 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – As unusually warm weather brings a feeling of early spring across Missouri, it also speeds up the lawn... More >>
5 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The mayor's medical tourism task force has finalized its recommendations on how to make Columbia a medical hub... More >>
6 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Stress may seem like one of those things that we all talk about being under from time to... More >>
7 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Th e Missouri S tate Highway Patrol says a 27-year-old man was died after a police... More >>
7 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 1:13:43 PM CST in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — A truck driver from Springfield was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty in... More >>
8 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 12:48:59 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - MU Police identified a man suspected of kissing one unwilling female and trying to hug several others. There... More >>
9 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will discuss a proposed ordinance change Monday night that would affect the way trash... More >>
10 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 10:35:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will look at what could turn into a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP,... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:00:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Two people were arrested after taking law enforcement on a high speed chase throughout mid-Missouri Sunday, according... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:36:00 PM CST in Coverage From Callaway
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A group of homeowners raised money for a man who was arrested in their neighborhood after... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:05:00 PM CST in News
OVERLAND - The Overland Police Department cancelled the Amber Alert for a 9-month-old boy Sunday. According to police, the... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:21:21 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia saw one of its warmest weekends of the year so far with temperatures in the high 60s... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:53:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
9pm 62°
10pm 60°
11pm 59°
12am 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Timeless
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld