November 1, 2010
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
As part of the Department of Corrections ongoing effort to make the public aware of the many positive developments taking place in Florida’s correctional system, four Martin Correctional Institution officers (Sergeant Carl Smith, Officer Anthony Thompson, Officer Barbara St. Hill and Officer James Yearby) spoke to the congregation of Bass Temple Church of God in Christ in Fort Pierce on October 26th. The officers began their presentation by addressing some of the most common misconceptions of Florida’s prison system.
“First we asked questions regarding what people knew about prison and prison life. Then we talked about the harsh realities of prison life,” Officer Thompson said.
Weapons of all types (i.e., homemade shanks, zip guns and tattoo guns), along with other types of contraband, were displayed for the congregation.
“Once everyone was focused upon all of the negatives, we then talked about the positives,” Thompson added.
Two model homes constructed by inmates, along with positive inmate drawings and art work, were displayed. Certificates and awards that the inmates obtained while incarcerated were also shown.
The main topic of the presentation centered on choices. The choices and the direction these offenders made and how different choices would have taken their lives in a positive direction.
“It was a very strong, informative message they delivered, and I know it did not fall on deaf ears,” said Cecilia Martin-McGee, Bible Study President at Bass Temple Church. “The congregation definitely enjoyed the way their message left them asking questions, engaged and wanting to seek more out of life”.
Martin-McGee added, “I would highly recommend these individuals to speak to congregations around the area. By speaking to congregations comprised of all ages, would give them better insight on the chances and/or choices each individual makes and how it can affect their future”.
For more information, contact the Department of Corrections' Office of Public Affairs at (850) 488-0420.