CARSON GREENE JR.: Inmates show willingness to help center
Recently I was invited to the prison here in Indiana County, SCI Pine Grove, to accept a $500 check donated to the Chevy Chase Community Center by inmates at the prison.
I had toured the prison after its completion before the prisoners arrived; however, the visit this time was different.
When we arrived, we were asked to sign in and pass through a metal detector (which I failed because of metal eyelets on my shoes). After removing my shoes and passing through the metal detector, I surrendered my driver's license and was marked on the hand with an invisible ink (to make certain that you are accounted for in the event of a problem).
After walking some distance to the gym, we arrived and walked in and there were 40 to 50 prisoners sitting in the bleachers to greet us.
I must say that this was humbling experience and reminded me of my own freedom to move about as I wish.
The prisoners were very kind, although you could see the sadness on their faces.
I recognize that these people have been found guilty of crimes and rightfully are serving time for their breach of the laws of the land.
However, there seems to be something redeeming to their willingness to extend to our community a sense of caring for the less fortunate.
It is certainly sobering to see the real "lockup" known as SCI Pine Grove through human eyes rather than through the eyes of television and MSNBC.
On behalf of the Chevy Chase Community Center, I want to say thank you to those prisoners at SCI Pine Grove for their contribution to help the less fortunate in our community.
Carson Greene Jr.
president, Chevy Chase Community Center