PUTNAMVILLE -- Community service for offenders is more than just inmates in orange jumpsuits picking up trash along the roadways. It's evolved into programs that teach offenders to have a sense of responsibility for self, family and the community.
Probably nowhere is this more evident than at the Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF).
Over the course of the past year, PCF offenders and staff have donated more than $6,950 to charitable organizations in the community and across the U.S., significantly impacting countless numbers of individuals and families.
"The amount of money donated is a testament to our commitment to community service," PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight noted.
"It also represents the type of staff and offenders that we have," Knight said. "Staff who volunteer countless hours to host food sales, drives and raffles to earn money for donations, in addition to their correctional responsibilities, and offenders who donate skills and labor." The prison has been around since 1914 and employs staff from all of the surrounding counties, making it a vital part of the community.
"If our neighbors are struggling," Knight said, "we are compelled to help, using whatever resources are available to us."
Blood drives, food drives, raffles, bake sales, refurbished bikes, pumpkins, wildflowers and labor are just some of the Putnamville resources that have been used to improve the quality of life for individuals in the community.
Putnam and Clay county Emergency Food Banks, Putnam County Victim Assistance, Special Olympics, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Clay City High School, Susan B. Komen Foundation, Clay County Red Cross, Hurricane Sandy Relief, Cunot Community and Senior Citizens Center, the Hope Haven Horse Farm, Indiana Blood Center and Putnam and Clay county elementary schools are just a few of the groups and organizations that have benefited from the efforts ongoing at Putnam-ville.
Knight's goal for 2013 is to increase charitable donations, expand the recipient base, and to engage more PCF offenders in the process.
"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it," the prison superintendent said.