Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:52

For inmates, pillows do the talking

Bristol Massachusetts jail inmates making pillow cases.

Chris O'Donnell pens a message for his 2-year-old daughter, Kylee. For the past 10 years, inmates at Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth have been encouraged to share messages with absent loved ones on elaborately decorated pillowcases.PETER PEREIRA/THE STANDARD-TIMESBy Brian Boy
December 08, 2011 12:00 AM
Published in Current Events
Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:50

Aid for inmates aim of ministry

 Originally Published on Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The men spoke up to answer the speaker’s questions and talk of their own life experiences. It could have been any self-help seminar, except the participants wore jumpsuits and the meeting was taking place inside the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton. It was a seminar for inmates ready to make a life change, led by Dr. Scott Larson, founder of Straight Ahead Ministries.

Published in Prisoner Support
By Dave Eisenstadter
Posted Aug 12, 2011 @ 05:00 AM  
  Volunteer Gina DiCara counseling a Norfolk Prison Inmate on reentering society

Roy Hendricks, an inmate at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Dedham, meets with volunteer Ginny DiCara, of Brockton, on Tuesday, Aug. 9. DiCara is a volunteer in a new program that pairs community members to inmates soon to be reentering society.

Inside the locked doors of the Norfolk County jail, volunteers with a new mentorship program hope they are the key to lead repeat offenders to productive lives.

The result of a partnership between Volunteers of America and the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office, the program assigns community members to inmates soon to be reentering society. Mentors meet with prisoners weekly for the final months of their term, then assist them through their first year after jail.

For Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti, bringing in mentors is an effort to reduce the prison population. About 670 reside at Norfolk County Correctional Center, more than twice its designed capacity of 302.

“It’s a dramatic shift in how we connect the inmates with the outside world,” Bellotti said. “This is inviting the outside community into our four walls to help bring down the obstacles that typically lead to recidivism.”

Issues relating to addiction or frustrations in searching for housing, employment or health care can lead recently released prisoners right back to their former lives and habits that got them arrested in the first place, Bellotti said.

Published in Prisoner Support