JCCC pitches in for food drive effort
Several offenders at Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC) have worked this month to help out for an upcoming food drive.
In preparation for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, 200,000 bright, blue bags and accompanying materials were delivered to JCCC so the inmates could help stuff the bags and fold them. Postal workers will deliver those bags to local communities such as Kirksville, Sedalia, Hannibal, Jefferson City and Columbia. The national pick up day for the bags is on May 11. Locally, the bags of donated food will go to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
As part of the Restorative Justice program, offenders in the Enhanced Care Unit, the Social Secure Rehabilitation Unit, the Intensive Therapeutic Community and the Restorative Justice area have all pitched in to help ready the bags. Restorative Justice is an ancient philosophy that addresses criminal behavior with the fundamental belief that when a crime is committed, a debt is incurred.
"Restorative Justice holds the offender accountable and provides a means for them to help repay their debt to society," said George Lombardi, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections. "This important and necessary program helps offenders connect to something outside of themselves. Altruism is a key component of successful reentry to society. When offenders learn altruism through programs such as Restorative Justice, it significantly reduces the chance they will return to prison. That, in turn, makes our communities safer."