Corrections deputy Lizette Batchelder and her husband patrol deputy Chris Batchelder enjoy creating art at home. Recently, they brought their love for art to the Putnam County Jail by providing inmates with classes on paint pouring. Held on weekends when both deputies are off-duty, the art projects are already very popular and provide a positive outlet for those currently at the jail.
Based on the successful Arts in Prison program in Kansas, providing art to inmates allows for education and experiences to give hope. This is an opportunity for self-reflection and to create something meaningful.
Inmates who completed the project expressed thanks for having an opportunity to participate in the program and some wrote words that were meaningful to them or included family names to remind them what they have waiting for them when their time is served.
This is one of several projects underway to reduce recidivism in the jail according to Jail Director Major Scott Surrency. Additional programs currently underway include Celebrate Recovery as well as partnership with SMA to provide anger management and parenting classes. Surrency said there are plans to add more programs with the recent creation of a Programs Coordinator position.