To the editor:
With more than 2 million Americans incarcerated and more than 600,000 released each year back into our communities, there is a need for volunteers to work with inmates as they strive to make the changes necessary for them to be successful, contributing members of society.
I have done this volunteer service at the Lansing Correctional Facility for the past nine years and have found it to be very satisfying.
There are two inmate groups at the Maximum Custody Unit of Lansing Correctional Facility that could use more volunteer involvement. They are the Stop Violence Group and the Veterans Support Group.
The Stop Violence Group was begun at Lansing Correctional Facility more than 20 years ago and has now spread throughout the other facilities of the Kansas Department of Corrections.
The purpose of Stop Violence is to break the cycle of violence, beginning with making personal changes.
Research has indicated the inmates who participate in Stop Violence are three times more likely than the general prison population to stay out of prison once they are released.
The Veterans Support Group, as you would suspect, is for incarcerated veterans or the family members of veterans. The purpose of Veterans Support is to help group members follow a path leading to a positive role in society.
Lansing Correctional Facility is an all-male facility, but volunteers and staff are both male and female.
As you would hope, volunteers must undergo a background check and will be given one day of training before they are issued an identification card and given access to the group meetings.
If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, you can call me at my home in Lansing, 727-2574, or contact Renda Craft, volunteer coordinator for Lansing Correctional Facility, at 727-3235 ext. 7246.
- Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Russell S. Thompson, Ph.D.,