A New Way to Connect Inmates with Family at the Wilkinson Facility
Since families are not able to visit their loved ones residing at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, MS because of the pandemic, the facility has launched a new initiative.
It’s a program that allows residents to take photos and send them home to their friends and family. The cost of the photos, along with the postage for mailing them, is paid by the facility.
“We want their family members to see them and to know they’re doing OK,” says Warden Scott Middlebrooks.
The project consists of the men posing in front of colorful backdrops with seasonal themes.
“So far, the project is going well,” explains Warden Middlebrooks. “In fact, the men love it. Since early November, more than 750 of them have participated in this project. All of the photos are taken by an inmate photographer under direct staff supervision. The photos are screened by staff prior to being given to the offenders.
“As the warden, I can honestly tell you I’m not at all surprised by this response. I’ve had many inmates thank us for allowing this project, because they’ve never been afforded this opportunity, and they really appreciate it.”
Here’s what a few of the men had to say about the photo project:
“I’ve done 15 years, and this is the first time I’ve had a photo to send home. This was a real plus. Some guys are indigent and can’t pay the postage and the facility is paying it for us.
“I feel great about this. I wish they had it all the time. These were two photos I really wanted to send home. I wish they made this available through the commissary so we can pay for it and do it whenever we want to. I sent mine to my baby’s momma and my momma, and they were happy. There was no visit, and our family could only talk to us by phone, but this relieves them of worry. Now they can see us.” – Fred Doss
“I feel privileged, because every other prison I’ve been at didn’t do this for us. I plan to send mine to a sister in Christ.” — Ricky Keeton
“The inmates are thrilled about it. They seem very proud. They were especially happy about WCCF covering the postage. Think about it: We now have free pictures and free postage! You just don’t see this anywhere. This was a blessing on top of a blessing.
“The photos are nice. It’s a blessing to have them taken for us to send to our family. Our families haven’t seen us in a while, and they will be glad to receive a picture from us. I sent mine to my son, and he enjoyed it. He hadn’t seen me in three years. — Kenneth Brown