Under the supervision of Dr. Iris Phillips, associate professor of social work, the students planned programming in the PLUS (Purposeful Living Units Serve) unit at Wabash, a self-sufficient unit geared towards teaching values that focus on positive reinforcement,
(Media-Newswire.com) - “We observed firsthand the offenders designing, piecing, and finishing beautiful quilts,” said social work major Kirstin Keith.
Keith, of Bloomfield, Indiana, and Diana Lewis, St. Wendel, Indiana, are students at the University of Southern Indiana who organized a senior project at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana. “We wanted to show that pro-social activities could produce a positive ‘high’ from good deeds and replace the ‘high’ received from criminal activities,” said Keith.
Under the supervision of Dr. Iris Phillips, associate professor of social work, the students planned programming in the PLUS ( Purposeful Living Units Serve ) unit at Wabash, a self-sufficient unit geared towards teaching values that focus on positive reinforcement, through learned behavior. They discovered the PLUS population made memorial quilts for families of Indiana soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The USI students choose to link the correctional facility and Lucas Place II, a residence in Vanderburgh County for disabled homeless veterans. The inmates made 50 quilts for Lucas Place II residents. “We could see the offenders light up when they talked about the quilt project and how they enjoyed the community service,” said Keith.
Another goal of the students is to have Lucas Place residents write to individuals at the PLUS unit acknowledging the quilt gift so the offenders receive a positive response for their actions.
Keith and Lewis are hopeful the relationship will continue after they graduate this spring from USI. The case manager at Lucas Place II is Dawn Tedrow, who has her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from USI.
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