Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Your letters

Volunteerism strong at women's prison

Other prisons can't match HCI's volunteerism

On Jan. 11, Warden Smith received the call from the Department of Corrections that Hillsborough Correctional Institution was closing and the inmate population would be shipped to other distant prisons beginning Feb. 1.

Last March, a group of four grannies from Sun City Center and two alumni of HCI went to Tallahassee to lobby the closing expected to begin April 1, 2011. That closure was miraculously discontinued and the facility received a No. 1 award for highest number of volunteers and highest volunteer hours.

This is all about money: HCI saves taxpayer dollars. We have the lowest recidivism rate in the state. How much would it cost to continue re-entry? Two Hillsborough Inmate Work Squads saved the county $275,586 and at least another squad has been requested. The University of Florida Research Center squads saved the state approximately $300,000. The Sewing Class, "Crafts with Convictions," in less than one year of production, supplied Hillsborough Educational Foundation with over $200,000 worth of sewing and paper products.

Volunteers have secured $15,000 worth of grant and private monies recently for programs and maintenance. The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved June 7 to allow for an increase to 486 inmates to lower inmate per diem rates. On Jan. 5, the BOCC unanimously approved to negotiate with the state for wastewater hookup to work toward continued facility improvements.

Discrimination against female inmates: HCI is the only fully faith/character prison for females in the state and was the first in the nation in 2004. Male inmates have three similar facilities. There is no other facility for women in the state and perhaps the nation with over 500 volunteers, and in the month of November, it had 2,297 volunteer hours. The "jewel" of HCI is a mentoring program where 200 of 300 inmates are served. With an upcoming Jan. 28 volunteer orientation, we could have 100 percent of the inmates with an accountability mentoring volunteer. This will not happen at a 3,000 mega "warehouse" called Lowell Correctional Institution, nor at smaller facilities with minimal volunteerism.

Show us proof that mega facilities have low recidivism rates with women returning to society with enhanced self-esteem?

Nancy Williams, Sun City Center, 2004 HCI Charter Volunteer

Volunteerism strong at women's prison 01/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed in Plant City when car runs red light, FHP says

    Blogs

    Two Mulberry teens are dead and another is critically injured after their car collided with another vehicle in a Plant City intersection Thursday afternoon.

  2. GOP Montana win may be blip in Democrats' anti-Trump hopes

    Blogs

    BOZEMAN, Mont. — A Montana Republican businessman won the state's U.S. House seat after being charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election, a victory that may temper Democrats' hopes for a massive anti-Trump wave next year.

    Republican Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters after being declared the winner at a election night party for Montana's special House election against Democrat Rob Quist at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday in Bozeman, Montana.
  3. More than half of Senate signs onto bill to end Cuba travel restrictions

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - Fifty-five members of the Senate, including Bill Nelson, have endorsed legislation to fully lift restrictions on travel to Cuba.

  4. Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 28

    Blogs

    CAIRO — Masked militants riding in three SUVs opened fire Friday on a bus packed with Coptic Christians, including children, south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people and wounding 22, the Interior Ministry said.

  5. District finals won't count for Pasco County students

    Blogs

    Scores from the district finals Pasco County students took in recent weeks will not count toward their semester grades or grade-point averages, superintendent Kurt Browning said Friday.