Bridging the Gap: ‘Focus’ program changing lives

Bridging the Gap

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – We first met Knox County inmate Rondell Suber a few weeks ago in the detention facility’s GED or “Highset” class.

He told us another program has really changed his life, and he wanted us to come back to find out about it.

It’s a faith-based program called Focus, and it’s restoring many lost lives.

Chaplain Jeff Hunter shares the Word in the intensive 12-week, Bible-based program. Classes a three times a day, Monday through Friday.

Inmates are selected if they prove they’re ready to change through an interview process.

Among the inmates are those like 26-year-old Rondell Suber, who’s been in and out of jail, who want to stop the cycle.

“I’ve been incarcerated a couple times before, for just poor choices that I made in my life,” Suber told us.

He went on to say, “this time I’m in here for carrying a firearm. Convicted felon. I was on probation, enhanced probation for aggravated burglary and it was…just…I was going through rough stages in my life where drinking played a part in the mistakes that I made.”

Suber, searching for answers to why he was so angry and lost, finding clarity through the Focus program.

“I came in with a determination: Achieve, achieve. And, I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. So that’s my, what I take every day for motivation and to just get through my days and accomplish what needs to be accomplished so I can be a leader out in the community and to my family and to others,” Suber says.

Chaplain Hunter told us of Suber, “He grew rapidly, with what was going on in his life. We had counseling sessions, talked about things, so as he grew, you could see the peace coming over him. You could see the joy coming into his life.”

Suber says he has decided to walk the walk, and despite being baptized as a child, he says he didn’t understand the full meaning, wanting today to experience it again.

He was baptized by Chaplain Hunter in a baptismal at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility.

It was a renewal of faith, hope, and promise for his future.

Rondell Suber doesn’t know yet when he’ll be released from jail, but he was sentenced to three years. He has five children and says he wants to set a good example for them.

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