Australian Inmates Make Donation to Local Families

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. staple / ˈsteɪ pəl / (adj) – basic or essential

    Rice is one of the staple ingredients of sushi.

  2. avenue / ˈæv əˌnyu / (n) – a way of achieving a goal

    Her professionalism served as her avenue to getting promoted.

  3. commend / kəˈmɛnd / (v) – to praise

    The mayor commended the local police for their excellent service.

  4. stigma / ˈstɪg mə / (n) – a negative feeling associated with something

    The campaign aims to eliminate the stigma associated with mental disorders.

  5. impel / ɪmˈpɛl / (v) – to drive someone to do an action.

    The new advertisement showing the impact of drunk driving impelled a lot of viewers to drink moderately.


Read the text below.

Inmates of the Mid North Coast Correctional Center (MNCCC) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia have made a donation to underprivileged families.

In December of last year, the NSW inmates donated seven weeks’ worth of food packages to No Kid Hungry, a charity that provides weekly food donations to over 200 families and conducts feeding programs in schools for children who do not get to eat breakfast in their homes.

The inmates’ donation included staple food like oats, rice crisps, noodles, and canned tuna.

Correctional Service Governor John O’Shea, who has served the Department of Justice for 28 years, said that this program has garnered the most attention from inmates. He attributes the program’s popularity to the inmates’ sense of empathy because they also experienced poverty themselves.

Facility chaplain John Deanton, one of the key people behind the program, affirmed that the inmates’ contributions gave them not only an avenue for social involvement, but also a sense of value. In fact, No Kid Hungry CEO Dave Davis commended the inmates’ generosity. He is hopeful that the inmates’ act of kindness will change the stigma attached to imprisonment.

On another note, inmates from the Oberon Correctional Center (OCC) in NSW collaborated with the local police for the Prevention of Alcohol Related Crime (PARC) program, which aims to raise awareness among local teenagers about the impact of alcohol on the community.

Dale Ashcroft, OCC Manager of Security, disclosed that the inmates’ sharing of personal stories and experiences in prison left the greatest impression on the teenagers. He said that hearing first-hand experiences impelled the participants to reflect on their own behavior.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is possible for inmates in your country to do the same initiatives? Why or why not?
• Aside from the two initiatives mentioned in the article, how else can inmates contribute to the community? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What can people gain from being socially involved?
• How can you encourage others to become socially involved?