Department of Corrections
Employees Help Spread Christmas Cheer
Frankfort, KY – Kentucky Department of Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees today recognized the joint efforts of employees and inmates to ensure children and needy families have a special Christmas.
The majority of the 14 Probation & Parole offices and 13 prisons across the state of Kentucky have participated in projects to guarantee that food, toys and clothing are available during this holiday season.
“We want these gifts to reach those who need it most. Staff throughout the Department, working with organizations such as the Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency (KCCD), assist families in various communities including some of our own,” said Commissioner John D. Rees.
“Shop with a Cop”, which is sponsored by area FOP chapters, has been very popular statewide. Probation & Parole officers in District 2 (Hopkinsville) have joined forces for the past 11 years with a police officer to take children to Wal-Mart where they purchase items for their families. Seventy-eight children have benefited from the program during this Christmas season in the Hopkinsville area.
Two Probation & Parole officers from the District 11 (Harlan) office also participated in the “Shop with a Cop” program in Harlan and Middlesboro. The Empty Stocking Fund is another program where Probation & Parole officers get up early on Christmas Eve and deliver donated items for food baskets and toys to those in need. This year over 450 baskets/gifts will be donated in the tri city area of Harlan, Cumberland and Lynch.
Denise Bentley from the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), teamed up with the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women to deliver toys to the children of 126 inmates at the women’s facility. Bentley collected enough toys for 283 children ranging in ages from 1 month to 13 years of age.
The toys will be given out beginning Christmas Eve and continuing through December 27. Many of the state prisons provide Christmas Stockings to children of inmates during Christmas Eve or Christmas Day visits.
Employees of the Little Sandy Correctional Complex have joined with the Elliot County Christian Center in collecting clothing and food for distribution.
“The Elliott County Christian Center was selected for our involvement due to the local recognition this organization has in the community,” said Warden Gary Beckstrom. “We want to continue to maintain and foster the good will the institution has with the community.”
The Christian Center is assisting 40 families in the community with food for the holidays.
Inmates as well as staff get into the spirit of giving. Inmates housed at the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex that work in the Kentucky Correctional Industries (KCI) program, have made quilts from scraps of upholstery fabric and the vocational carpentry class made wooden toy race cars and trucks with detachable cabs for the children of two families.
Many of the institutional inmate programs and clubs have held fund raisers and contributed to a variety of organizations. One such example is the Substance Abuse Program participants at Roederer Correctional Complex. This inmate group has donated $250 to Prodigal Ministries, $250 to the Healing Place and $500 worth of gift cards to a needy family in Oldham County. The Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Home of the Innocence and the Galilean Home are just a few additional organizations that receive funds from the state inmate population.