FCI prisoners give back to community

FCI Sheridan inmates finish construction on shop

Bonni+Booth%2C+WHS+teacher%2C+has+gotten+creative+with+her+unfinished+walls+by+screwing+white+boards%2C+clocks+and+diagrams+straight+into+the+framework.+Her+classroom+is+still+under+construction+and+is+projected+to+be+finished+before+spring+break.+%E2%80%9CWe+realized+that+the+CTE+shop+would+be+more+beneficial+to+our+students+that+had+classrooms+that+were+completed.%2C%E2%80%9D+Carrie+Zimbrick%2C+superintendent%2C+said.+%0A
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FCI prisoners give back to community

Bonni Booth, WHS teacher, has gotten creative with her unfinished walls by screwing white boards, clocks and diagrams straight into the framework. Her classroom is still under construction and is projected to be finished before spring break. “We realized that the CTE shop would be more beneficial to our students that had classrooms that were completed.,” Carrie Zimbrick, superintendent, said.

Bonni Booth, WHS teacher, has gotten creative with her unfinished walls by screwing white boards, clocks and diagrams straight into the framework. Her classroom is still under construction and is projected to be finished before spring break. “We realized that the CTE shop would be more beneficial to our students that had classrooms that were completed.,” Carrie Zimbrick, superintendent, said.

Hunter Latham

Bonni Booth, WHS teacher, has gotten creative with her unfinished walls by screwing white boards, clocks and diagrams straight into the framework. Her classroom is still under construction and is projected to be finished before spring break. “We realized that the CTE shop would be more beneficial to our students that had classrooms that were completed.,” Carrie Zimbrick, superintendent, said.

Hunter Latham

Hunter Latham

Bonni Booth, WHS teacher, has gotten creative with her unfinished walls by screwing white boards, clocks and diagrams straight into the framework. Her classroom is still under construction and is projected to be finished before spring break. “We realized that the CTE shop would be more beneficial to our students that had classrooms that were completed.,” Carrie Zimbrick, superintendent, said.

Emma Nolan, Editor-in-Chief

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Willaminainmates from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Sheridan, finish construction on the woods and metals shop at the high school.

This is the tenth summer prisoners from FCI have worked on campus but this is the first year a work crew will be present in the classroom during school hours.

“It is a great opportunity not only for them but for us also because they help us out a lot. They are probably some of the nicest guys that I’ve been around. Very respectful of everybody,” Craig Johnson, maintenance manager, said. Johnson and Kurt Neville lead the construction project.

Originally, students were expected to finish construction in the next few years. However, with the volunteer work of the FCI inmates it is now projected that the classrooms within the woods and metal shop will be completed before spring break. The five man crew has experience with plumbing, contracting and construction.

“We are talking about saving $100,000 in labor costs that we didn’t have,” Carrie Zimbrick, superintendent, said.  “Truth is there is a lot of people locked up who have a lot of skills.”

The decision to introduce a work crew during school hours was discussed at a public board meeting. The FCI is a minimum security facility that houses non-violent criminals. The majority of the work crew at Willamina are imprisoned for check fraud and tax evasion. For inmates to qualify for the program, among other things, they must be close to being released and pass an extensive evaluation conducted by the FCI.

[The program] prepares them for the outside world and makes them feel better about themselves,” Richard Ives, Warden at the FCI, Sheridan, said.

The non-profit organization also has to qualify to receive support from the program. Inmates must not be replacing another employee and the specific project cannot have been budgeted for. The Sheridan School District also receives serves from FCI but not in the same capacity as Willamina.

“A lot of communities like to see inmates giving back to the community where they are housed and understand that they do have to be supervised and that they are very low risk,” Carrie Zimbrick, WHS Superintendent said.

Four WHS staff have gone through training through FCI that has prepared them for an emergency situation but also for the dos and don’ts that come with working with inmates.

“When they are picked to even consider to work for a school they know that at some point they are going to be around students. These aren’t hard core criminals. . . One guy, 12 days he gets out,” Johnson said.