State Inmates to Peddle Artistic Works at Second Annual Crafts Fair

By Margaret Wright A flurry of preparations in a cavernous warehouse on N.M. 14 just south of Santa Fe resemble those for any other fine arts and craftsmanship exposition. There’s the scent of fresh paint and sawdust from workers repairing

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Prison Bound? Try a Coach to Survive Behind Bars

By Corrections One Staff / CorrectionsOne.com  Bill Doane / Image courtesy Iohud.com Sentenced to some time behind bars, but don’t think you can hack it? Try a prison coach, a consultant who’s survived behind bars and can teach you to

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Starting Rehabilitation Early, at Arizona’s Coconino County Jail

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy washingtonpost.com

America’s county jails can be a challenging environment, both for their inmates, and for those seeking to provide educational and rehabilitative programs.  There is a high turnover of inmates, who typically stay only a short time, and who tend to be anxious and preoccupied with their pending court cases.

At Coconino County Jail in central Arizona, the average stay is just one week, though in part that reflects many who only stay overnight; other inmates remain at the jail for many months.  Because of these challenges county jails are usually seen simply as staging posts.  Rehabilitative programs are given a low priority and inmates spend most of their time watching television, reading, or playing cards.  In Coconino County, however, Sheriff Pribil sees this as a wasted opportunity, and he has shown that he’s prepared to do something about it.

Coconino County Jail’s drug treatment program has cast the jail’s general education programs in a less favorable light, and shown them to be in need of improvement.  To begin this process, Sheriff Pribil appeared before the Coconino County Supervisors on March 12, 2014 to request approximately $70,000 of additional funds in order to hire an educational coordinator for the jail.  Impressed by the success of the Exodus program, the Supervisors unanimously approved.

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LGBT Month Celebrated in Federal Prison: A Validation for Lives Dismissed

By Christopher Zoukis / Huffington Post At the start of June, pink flyers announcing LGBT Month started appearing around FCI Petersburg, a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia, where I am incarcerated. The fliers, along with many colorful postings in

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Female Prisoners in Kansas Make Dentures for Low-Income Patients

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy prisonprofiler.com

The women of Topeka Correctional Facility in Topeka, Kansas are an interesting sort.  While some sweep, mop, wipe down tables, or engage in wholesale janitorial work assignments, a special group of 8 female prisoners make dentures for low-income patients through an innovative partnership between the Kansas Department of Corrections, Kansas Correctional Industries, and the Southeast Kansas Education Center at Greenbush.

Founded by the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation, in 2007, the dental technician program employs 8 female prisoners at Topeka Correctional Facility, all of which were specially selected by prison administrators for program placement.  These female prisoners make dentures for Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU) patients.

The process is complex.  The KAMU clinics make an impression of the patient’s mouth.  This impression is then sent to the female prisoner dental technicians at the Topeka Correctional Facility, who create a wax and plastic teeth mold of the impression.  This temporary mold is then returned to the KAMU clinic to ensure that the fit is perfect.  Once approval is granted, the mold is sent back to the prison, where the female prisoner dental technicians use plastic teeth and hard acrylic to craft the final set of dentures.  These are then delivered back to the KAMU clinic for delivery to the eagerly awaiting patients.

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Bamboo School for Children to be Built in Nepali Prison

By Christopher Zoukis Incarcerated parents in Nepal’s Birgunj prison are celebrating as plans have been made to create a school inside the prison facility for their children to attend.  The school will be located inside the Birgunj prison, which is

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