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Rotary Club learns about JRCC

Volunteers from Dakota Central Telecommunications are helping the Rotary Club install Christmas lights on Mill Hill. Because the trees have grown so tall in the last few years, the club members have not been able to reach many of the tops of trees with ladders. Submitted

Chad Pringle, warden at the James River Correctional Center, was the guest speaker at the most recent Jamestown Rotary Club meeting. He was introduced by Larry Motacek.

Pringle has been a staff member at JRCC since it opened in 1988. There are 450 inmates at the JRCC, who are all men. Women were moved a prison site in New England, N.D.

There are 200 JRCC staff members of which 120 are corrections officers. Other staff include case managers and support staff. The majority of inmates get out in about three years, Pringle said. One of the goals of the prison is to reinforce positive behavior instead of always looking for negative behavior. Up to 75 percent of inmates need addiction counseling, he said. Education is a priority with inmates working toward GED degrees if they do not have high school diplomas, Pringle said.

Pringle noted other programs at the prison including dog training, furniture making, landscaping and sewing projects.

Pringle talked about the prison system in Norway, which is run more like a college campus. Norway changed to this type of incarceration in the ’90s and its recidivism rate has dropped to 20 percent. There are approximately 1,600 inmates in North Dakota with 60 of those inmages serving life sentences. More interaction with the community includes local sports teams and theater plays taking part at the prison.

Erin Paulson reminded Rotarians of the Oct. 17 Ag Luncheon at North Dakota Farmers Union. There will be no meeting at Quality Inn & Suites. National Honor Society Student guests were Emma Bennett and Samara Mc Dermid. They performed a musical duet from an upcoming Jamestown High School musical. They were accompanied by Mark Reeves on the piano. Dave Smette introduced his guest, Katherine Roth, who heads up the new Jamestown Regional Entrepreneur Center at the University of Jamestown.

Paulson presided over the meeting.. The invocation was given by Jen Bollingberg. Cali Johnston collected “Happy Dollars” to support Rotary projects.