P.L.U.S. donates to shelter

Friday, September 4, 2009
Indiana Department of Correction Assistant Superintendent Philip Slavens, left, and Rick Hayes, P.L.U.S. program director and coordinator, present a check to Alyce West, manager of Away-Home Shelter in Greencastle. The donation came from money raised by inmates at the Putnamville Correctional Facility through the P.L.U.S. program.

GREENCASTLE -- The Away Home Shelter received a donation Thursday through the Purposeful Living Units Serve (P.L.U.S.) program at the Putnamville Correctional Facility.

Inmates in the program raised the money by selling their artwork and having fundraisers.

The P.L.U.S. program consists of 142 men who have made the conscious decision to devote 12 to 14 months of their incarceration to spiritual or character development and growth.

"We believe that by diligently applying ourselves to this purpose, we can avert the dangers leading to recidivism and become the husbands, fathers, sons and men of outstanding character that our society desperately needs us to be," inmates wrote about the program.

The P.L.U.S. program is an Indiana Department of Corrections initiative designated by IDOC Commissioner Edwin Buss to facilitate offender adjustment, rehabilitation and reintegration into communities.

In the program, offenders choose to follow either a faith- or character-based curriculum, but the emphasis is the same -- positive, personal change that will not only affect the inmates and their families, but also make for a better transition into their communities upon release.

The curriculum is composed of transformational thinking, victim impact realization, basic life skills, healthy relationships and parenting, community service and the role of spirituality and faith in life.

Community volunteers are needed for this program. It is designed to include volunteers from the community to mentor men in their faith or help facilitate core classes such as 24/7 Dads, a 12-week parenting class, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a nine-week course based on the book by Stephen Covey.

Anyone interested in volunteering for this program can contact Hayes at 653-8441, Ext. 244.

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