Taylor County Community Corrections Participants Renovate County - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Taylor County Community Corrections Participants Renovate County Courtroom

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GRAFTON -

Prosecutors believe the Taylor County Community Corrections program changes lives. They said once the participants graduate, it's rare you'll see them in the legal system again.

Anthony Johnston is a participant in the program and said it has changed his life.

"I graduated at MHS when I was 18. I went into truck school and got my CDL truck license and I made too much money. I got addicted to drugs and caught my charge here in Taylor County and I was put on Community Corrections program," said Anthony Robert Johnston, Morgantown resident.

The Taylor County Community Corrections Program isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work and the willingness to change your life.

"When these people go into community corrections, it is a difficult program. I feel its one of the most difficult community corrections programs in the state," said John Bord, Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney.

One of the key components to the program is community service.

"This community saved my life and I need to show my amends and prove to everybody that I'm happy this happened and its a learning point in my life," Johnston said. "I like to give back everything that I can even if I'm getting paid or I'm not getting paid."

The Taylor County Courtroom hasn't seen an upgrade in more than 30 years. Participants from the Taylor County Corrections program worked on a community service project for the entire month of August to make those necessary upgrades.

"Those of us who work in the court system didn't think it was really presentable to the public," Bord said. "It portrayed an image that we definitely wanted to change."

"We primered the walls. We washed them down with rags and cleaner. We primered the walls. We painted the walls. We painted the tracks on the ceiling. We replaced all the ceiling tile. We took it down and all the coal dust from 30 some years from the railroad tracks. It was pretty interesting," Johnston said.

And that isn't even the half of it. The carpet was replaced, curtains were washed, and much more.

The Taylor County Commission funded the project that courthouse employees call a night and day difference.

"I think it instilled on several of those people a lot of pride in the work they did and Judge Moats acknowledged them in court one day. Brought them in and literally acknowledged them and thanked them for their hard work," Bord said.