Prison inmates at Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Kansas have found a way to give back to the society. They are proving very responsible and accountable to the general society they left behind. This they do via the Wheels for the World program at the Kansas prison.
What is the Wheels for the World Program All About?
The Wheels for the World inmate community program began in 1999. It a program where inmates take old bike parts and turn them into refurbished bicycles and wheelchairs.
The refurbished wheelchairs and bicycles are then given out to needy people in Kansas and overseas. These items are then donated, by the inmates, to people with mobility problems. They are used to help them move around with minimal effort.
About 1,800 Bicycles & Wheelchairs Donated By Prisoners Last Year
According to inmates repairing and refurbishing the bikes and wheelchairs, they are happy to be able to do something. The newly made bikes are donated to treatment centers and NGOs within and outside the state.
A total of 1,200 refurbished bicycles were given out to users around Kansas in 2016. And, over 600 wheelchairs were shipped out to the needy outside the US last year.
A correctional officer at the facility, Sgt. Phillip Decouteau, said inmates gained new skills by working on the bikes. He said the Wheel for the World program affords inmates the opportunity to learn and utilize new skills.
Decouteau added the inmates also learn the good work habit of rising up in the morning and doing something constructive with their time and efforts.
Inmates Get Paid Per Hour to Work for Wheel for the World
An inmate at the correctional facility, David Summers, said he is glad to affect people’s lives by making positive changes.
Another inmate, Jerome Forbes, added they are happy to make the upcoming 2017 Christmas holidays a great one for people who otherwise have mobility issues.
The Kansas inmates are paid small wages for working for Wheels for the World. One inmate said he earns $1.05 per hour, but many say they are not in it for the money.
They just want to give back to society and make life easier for others. Decouteau disclosed the prisoners donate the bicycles monthly. The wheelchairs, also donated by the inmates, sent to needy people overseas twice a year.