Martha Stewart may be a free women but there are 600 prisoners still doing time at the Iowa Women’s prison at Mitchellville. Many get substance-abuse, anger-management, and domestic-abuse courses to avoid making the same mistakes once they’re free. But some may never leave. Sentenced to life or very long terms, they work at jobs on the prison grounds, and deputy warden Cheryl says many of the longterm prisoners are interested in doing something to help people outside the prison bars. The “Long-Termers’ Group” is based on restorative justice, and they pick out projects that can take on to either raise money for or make items for. There’s one group of women prisoners who crochet articles of tiny clothing, to give for babies that are born dead. The “Long Termers” also try to support organizations outside the prison that help other people. Since they’ll never get out, or not for a very long time, she says they still want to give something back. One way is to hook up with a group like Special Olympics Iowa, and arrange with a vendor like Pizza Hut to order pizzas and have the proceeds go to charity. The inmates made 1200 dollars earlier this year in a fundraiser held that way for the special olympics.
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