BOONE — A new initiative to reduce recidivism at the Watauga County jail is already receiving positive feedback, with one inmate calling it an “inspiration” and a “blessing” in a handwritten letter to Sheriff Len Hagaman.

The letter was written to Hagaman in spring 2018 after an intern studied inmate recidivism — the cycle of coming in and out of incarceration on multiple occasions. Mollie Mellishrencken started her internship with the sheriff’s office in January 2018 as a social work graduate student at Appalachian State University.

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