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Trojan Times

JAG-K gets behind-the-scenes tour of prison

Tammy Channell

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a prison looks like? On Sept. 20, Mrs. Jacee Tice took JAG-K students to the correctional facility in Ellsworth. They were able to tour the housing areas, where they were able to see inmates. During the tour, they were able to speak with inmates who spoke with the students about how and when they started their downward spiral and told them to think about their choices. 

The group also toured the gym, worksites and the CARES dog program. A maximum of 20 inmates get to work with the dogs in the program, including training the dogs and living with them. The dogs can stay at the facility for anywhere between one and 18 months. They then toured the shift supervisor area and the Spiritual Life Center. The Spiritual Life Center honors about 34 religions, and they were able to hear the worship band play. The band was made up of inmates. Other areas the group toured included private industries, industrial programs, BCC welding, reentry programs, Barton County Community College programs, the resource room, and maintenance.

They were also able to see the education facility, where inmates are earning their GED. Ellsworth Correctional Facility has more than 400 inmates, 75 percent of which do not have a high school diploma. As well as helping inmates earn their GED, they also make sure the inmates can get a down payment on both a car and a house to help them get back on their feet after serving their time.

The students’ experience in the correctional facility was so much more than what they expected.

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Senior Carlee Domann said about the tour, “It was very intriguing, very inspiring, just to hear that they brought themselves up from basically ground zero and they continue to help each other get to a better place from where they started.”

Tice said, “I thought it was amazing. They informed us about jobs you can get if you want to go right after high school… I thought it was a wonderful, well-put together tour.”

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