‘Lean on Me’ visits women prisoners

Members of the ‘Lean on Me’ Committee visited inmates at Fairbanks Prison last weekend to let the women know how they could get involved in community service after their release.

Chairman Derri Lee reported that all but one of the 13 women in custody attended the meeting.

She said members explained their work in organising concerts to raise funds for persons with heavy medial expenses and other worthy causes. The women were invited to volunteer for future projects.

‘There are some very talented people in prison,’ Derri commented. ‘One girl sang for us and blew us away. Another inmate was a model and someone else is a painter.

‘We want to give them a goal and keep their minds occupied. We also want the community to know they have something to offer,’ she said.

‘Lean on Me’ members are scheduling another visit in six weeks to build relationships so that the women will begin to feel comfortable about joining them.

‘They are in prison basically because of bad choices,’ Derri said.

Members were sobered by the impact of drug abuse on the lives of so many of the women. It has prompted them to discuss how a halfway house could be set up for inmates after release so they do not have to go back to the same environment that got them in trouble, Derri sid.

‘Lean on Me’ is planning to visit male inmates at Northward Prison in the near future.

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