10 February 2009

Plan Ahead. Your Life Awaits.

In between what seemed like a gazillion rosary and bible requests on Monday, there were at least a jillion phone calls. Most of them were pretty easy to deal with, but then there was this one:

Ring. Ring.

"Good afternoon. Chaplain O'Donnell."

"Chaplain? Hello, my name is Kyle."

Kyle had a few questions to ask. "I understand that usually a community college is associated with a prison. Is that true of where you are?"

It is. Centralia Community College staffs our education center.

"And are there any classes to take beyond the GED courses?"

Because we're a receiving prison, we really don't offer much. GED, yes. And some Information Technology Certificate classes. Some of the guys are real whizzes with computer programs. I explain all this, and when he asks if people can take anything they want, I tell him that most everyone in general population has to work and keep the place running, so they may have time for one class at a time.

"But really, " I say, "you should be talking to the Education folks. Could I transfer you to them?" That was fine with him, but now, I was curious.

"If you don't mind my asking, why are you interested in our education programs?"

There's a very small silence, then Kyle says, "Well, I'm going to be an inmate there and I'm trying to plan ahead."

I wished him luck, then transferred the call. Then I laughed.

We work so hard to get offenders to make plans for when they release from prison. This was my first experience with someone who was taking planning seriously.

I almost told Kyle to look me up when he gets here. But I didn't. I have a feeling I'll run across him anyway.


kedda said...

Good to see another story on your blog! I'm impressed with Kyle, and have added him to my prayers.

FranIAm said...

Oh Shannon - what a story! Prayers for Kyle and for all you serve.

And always prayers for you!