NDCS is welcoming volunteers and visitors back

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 9:42 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - According to the Nebraska Department of Corrections, it hasn’t had a single COVID-19 case inside the prisons for several weeks.

This led them to loosen restrictions, including welcoming volunteers and visitors back start the week of May 17.

Prison volunteer, Fran Kaye, said, “They’re my guys. iIget to go back and my women at York. I really miss working with the folks there.”

Kaye has volunteered at the prisons since the 90′s. She got her start specifically working with Native American prisoners.

“I started doing projects for them,” Kaye said. " I worked with them with writing. I worked with them in bringing in Native American writers and history and stuff like that.”

In the early 2000′s, she also started volunteering at the women’s prison in York after hearing there were a lack of programs there.

She along with other volunteers work on reading and writing with the inmates. They’re also creating their own play.

Volunteer Paul Feilmann, “The guys were really working on that. that’s one of the big projects we were working on when I was in last time.”

NDCS said in a statement starting Friday friends and family will be welcomed back and each inmate can have up to 3 guests.

Although the volunteers may not be visiting someone specific, some say it’s the best two hours of their day.

Rex Walton, who volunteered at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, said, “I learn a lot more from them than I think they learn from me. They are committed. They help each other; they help each other edit and write.”

Walton said getting volunteers and visitors inside prisons is one of the biggest things they need right now.

NDCS Director Scott Frakes said masking is still required inside prisons and people are asked to maintain 3 feet of social distancing.

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