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 September 27th, 2013  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara thanks clergy and volunteers for ministering to inmates at the St. Lucie County jail
Today, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara thanked more than 200 clergy members and volunteers for ministering to inmates at the St. Lucie County jail.

The occasion was a luncheon at Westside Baptist Church to thank the clergy members and volunteers and to thank the Rev. Dale Ingersoll for making the church available for the annual gathering.

The jail ministry started about 10 years ago and has grown from a small group of around 20 clergy to more than 200 clergy members and volunteers.

"This program has been vital to many of those incarcerated in the St. Lucie County jail," Sheriff Mascara said. "For many, spirituality is the first step to improve themselves and admitting to the issues that led them to jail. I want to thank the clergy members and volunteers who give of their valuable time to mentor to these individuals."

At the luncheon, Sheriff Mascara also acknowledged the work of the religious leaders and volunteers who assist the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Detention with religious programs, individual counseling.

The Sheriff also thanked staff members of Indian River State College for their assistance with continuing education programs and the Public Defender’s Re-entry Program that assists inmates in making their transition to living productive lives following their confinement.

"These programs are able to continue because of the hard work of so many selfless volunteers," Sheriff Mascara said.

Sheriff Mascara also recognized the Sheriff’s Office's auxiliary chaplains who support the Sheriff’s staff throughout the year during their adversities and accomplishments.

Special music was performed by Sgt. Chris Cicio, Deputy Jenifer Perkins, Joy Donaghue, Chris Frank, John Czerwinski, Dwight Havener and Jerome Rhyant. The Sheriff’s jail food service provider, Aramark, and the jail inmates enrolled in the culinary arts program prepared the meal.

Sheriff Mascara said, "Just as members of law enforcement commit to upholding the law and keeping the community safe no matter what, clergy will also stand for what is right no matter the cost or how hard the fight, keeping the faith."

The Sheriff shared a quote from the book "The Heart of a Volunteer" that reminds us, "When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home."

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