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Group runs unique jail program for women

Angeline Borchers lives behind high fences and barbed wire at Las Colinas Detention Facility. And, given that she is in jail ---- Borchers was arrested for drug offenses ---- she feels "blessed" to be here, in this particular dorm. The Escondido woman can count herself among the first 100 or so inmates in San Diego County who were allowed to take part in a rather unique program in which the participants spend their entire time behind bars focused on addiction recovery, as well as working through the past traumas and abuses that very likely led them to drugs. Borchers, 23, was serving time in the Vista jail when she heard about the program, which comes with high expectations and rigid rules. "I asked specially to come down to Las Colinas ---- just to be in this dorm," Borchers said Wednesday, a sob choking her as she spoke. "The day after I got here, I talked with Donna at the fence. I just told her I wanted my life, I wanted a life ---- and she took me in the next day. "Donna" is Donna Cleveland, a long recovering drug addict and one-time repeat inmate in the county's jails. It was Cleveland ---- who was Nickel until her wedding on New Year's Eve ---- who brainstormed and pitched the program to the county jails. And ---- as cliched as this sounds ---- one-time inmate Cleveland now literally has the keys to certain parts of the same jail she was once housed in. She comes by nearly daily to meet with and mentor the women she recruited for the program she dubbed FAiR, for Future Achievers in Re-entry. Cleveland credits her recovery from her 23-year addiction to the Oceanside-based group Welcome Home Ministries, which works with female jail and prison inmates. The Oceanside group is the official organization behind the jail program.

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