Lansing inmates open Christmas presents

Posted at 8:56 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 21:59:34-05

Inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility received Christmas gifts and a renewed sense of hope.

There are no decorations on the lawn of the minimum-security prison at Lansing. The inmates are dressed in their daily denim.

Christmas at Lansing isn't very merry or bright.

Inmate Anthony Dillard said, "In here you have to pretend it’s just another day."

The bag donated by the Bethany Prison Ministry will be the only gift these inmates at the prison will receive this holiday.

READ| Christmas gifts packed for Lansing prisoners

Life behind bars isn’t meant to be nice but it can be particularly difficult during the holidays.

"I’m only here on a parole violation, it was only 90 days. But to be away from my family like that, my daughters, it really does affect me, especially during the holiday season. So that’s why I’m glad to have people here for us in our time of need,” said Dillard.

The gifts aren’t fancy. The bags are filled with items like toothpaste, crackers and toothbrushes.

Robert Barnes who is six months away from completing his almost seven year sentence says the gifts are still very meaningful.

"It means a great deal to me, and I think it means a great deal to a lot of guys in here because a lot of guys in here don’t have a whole lot."

During the season of giving, these prisoners hope there will also be forgiving for the crimes they’ve committed.

The prison chaplain said he’s seen many change, in part because of the caring of others.

"I’ve told a great number of offenders before they’ve left “good luck, god bless, but I don’t want to see you again, go on and get on with your life and make something of it,” explained Chaplain Richard Dunn. “And they do, many of them go out and become model citizens."


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