Inmates speak to 7th grade students

It’s all about the choices you make, even when you’re 13. That’s the sentiment that two inmates from the Felmers O. Chaney Correctional Center gave to 7th grade students at North Middle School on Thursday.   

The discussion focused on helping students understand the risks involved when poor decisions are made and how it can negatively affect their future. Small groups of students had the opportunity to sit down with inmates and learn about the wrong choices they made as kids and ask questions about life in prison and what they’d do differently.

“The issue of decision making becomes increasingly important during middle school as students are faced with making more choice on their own,” said Lynn Grimm, Principal at North Middle School.  “We want to encourage students to make the best decision possible as it may dramatically affect their future.”

Both inmates are incarcerated for drug charges, one inmate told students that he made the bad decision to get involved with drugs when he was 13.

“This isn’t like a scared straight program or anything like that,” said Sergeant Velvet Moore, a 30-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to students at NMS. “I don’t believe in that. What we’re going to give you is the truth, what actually happens when you make bad decisions.”

This is the 2nd year of the presentation at North Middle and is in partnership with the Menomonee Falls Police Department.  “We want students to know the risks when poor decisions are made,” said Officer Jim Kirchberger, MFPD.  “It makes a big impact on the students, in a positive way.”

The Felmers Chaney Correction Facility is a minimum security facility that works towards re-integrating inmates back into society after serving time in prison. The center opened in May 2000 and was named after Felmers O Chaney who had a long and distinguished career with the Milwaukee Police Department. Not only was Mr. Chaney the first African American Sergeant but was instrumental in his 30 years on the force of participating in community Service.

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