Former Gwinnett inmate returns to jail with inspiring message

Between 2008 and 2012, Simon Fine was a "guest" at the Gwinnett County jail six separate times.

On Monday, he returned for a seventh visit — this time as a free man with an inspiring message.

The sheriff's office detailed his visit in a Facebook post:

"A former inmate came to visit us this morning. That's a little unusual because most people don't want to come back to jail once they're released, but when Simon Fine was incarcerated here, he was assigned to our Jail Dogs unit as an inmate handler. He credits that experience with helping him change his life for the better. He wanted to share that message with the other inmates here, so even though he is boarding a plane today to start his life in another state, he stopped by the jail to encourage others. We took the unusual step of allowing him to broadcast his message live to all the inmates in our jail via our closed circuit TV system." 

The jail dog program, also known as Operation Second Chance, pairs inmates with rescue dogs, which they train in order to get them ready for adoption. It was expanded earlier this year.

"Simon spoke about a lot of things - defeat, pain, near death by overdose, responsibility, hope and determination. Being a part of Operation Second Chance inspired him to turn his life around. Now he's inspiring others to do the same."

The sheriff's office ended its Facebook post with two hastags: #NeverQuit and #LifeIsGood.