Calling Jail "Home"

Calling Jail "Home"

Local law enforcement say jail inmates sometimes struggle with functioning outside the four walls of a jail cell.
NEVADA, MO.--- Inside the walls of the Vernon County Jail, inmates like Darrell Sanders have been in and out of jail since they were juveniles.

"Pretty much did what I wanted when I wanted because once you get beat once, really doesn't matter after that," said Darrell Sanders, Vernon County Inmate.
Sanders mother was murdered when he was a young child and his father was a drug addict who used Sanders as a punching bag. His first encounter with law enforcement was during a robbery shootout at the age of 17.   

"It's hard for me to relate to people out there, it's hard for me to fit in with people who haven't been in jail just because I was locked up at a young age, and then did a lot of time," said Sanders. 

Lieutenant Mike Buehlar says a lot of inmates live the life they're used to. 

"There's two paths that they can take. One being the good, one being the bad. They usually, typically, if you don't have any support in your life, you're going to chose the bad path," said Lt. Mike Buehlar, Vernon County Sheriff Office. 

He says many of the inmates call jail home. 

"We just have a structured atmosphere for them and I believe that's probably the majority of reason why they do well in jail. But as far as out on the street, they're basically turned out, and they have to fend for themselves," said Lt. Buehlar. 

Sanders says it's easy being good in jail. He says he has someone telling him what to do because they care.  

"Most jailers actually care about you and stuff, and they try and keep you in the straight and narrow. Out there, I just run rapid. I have no structure, I have no routine," said Sanders. 

He says with a routine, he feels like he's working.

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