Inmates give to charity from inside prison walls$4,230 raised at Springfield facility.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
SPRINGFIELD — Inmates at Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield are paying their debt to society in more ways than one.
Through a program started at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, inmates can use their own money to order food through the prison food service provider or another entity, tack on a $1 extra fee, and give the proceeds to a charity.
In just the past few years, inmates at Springfield have raised $4,230.
“It really is a neat program,” said Bob Dooley, warden of Mike Durfee State Prison. “Just the satisfaction they get from giving back to the community is great. When you talk to them about the food they bought, that’s the tone they have.
“The most important part is the fundraising for worthy organizations.”
Inmates use money they earn or receive through their commissary accounts to purchase the food. Food sales are offered two or three times a year, said Jim Halsey, cultural activities director at Mike Durfee State Prison.
In February 2011, for example, a group of Mike Durfee inmates purchased hamburgers from Catering by Marlin, the prison food service provider, and sweet rolls from Hy-Vee. Through that event, inmates raised $1,100 and split that total between the Springfield Veterans’ Memorial project and the Bon Homme Food Pantry, according to Michael Winder, of the state Department of Corrections.
Most recently this fall, inmates raised money for the Got Your 6 organization, which supports military veterans and their families, Dooley said.
The fundraisers at Mike Durfee have also helped Wounded Warrior Project, Avon Boys and Girls Club and Cure Kids Cancer.More from around the web