Father and child share special moments via prison event

Monday, August 13, 2012
Offender/handler Jerry Hefley (left) and canine Onyx share a moment with Putnamville Correctional Facility inmate William Finney and his young daughter Kelsey Finney and fellow visitor Amy McCammon.

PUTNAMVILLE -- The Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) hosted a special Day with Dad recently for incarcerated fathers and their children.

In the morning hours, 30 visitors filed through prison gates in anticipation of spending the day with dad.

"I appreciate spending time with my daughter even more now," said William Finney, 31, of North Vernon, "and she was super excited about being with me."

Young faces beaming with adoration and laughter could be heard through out the gymnasium as children played basketball, video games and enjoyed grilled hamburgers with their fathers.

The level of excitement heightened even more as girls and boys watched prison greyhounds Onyx, Hunter, Basil and Midnight being led into the PCF gym.

"Kelsey really loved the dogs and I loved seeing her so excited!" Finney commented.

Day with Dad has been an annual event at Putnamville since 2007, designed for graduates of the Inside Out Dads program.

The Inside Out Dads program, coordinated by James Bennett and Dwaine Short, provide them with the necessary skills for good parenting over a 12-week period.

Graduates who successfully complete the program are given the opportunity to participate in a Day with Day to strengthen the relationship between father and child.

"Our goal is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration in families by teaching offenders to be responsible fathers," PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight said. "If they use the learned skills, the chance of recidivating decreases, and, the chance of their children being incarcerated is diminished."

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