On Wednesday, Feb. 27, Warden Russell Hosford, his leadership team and members of the Franklin Correctional Institution family hosted more than 60 people for a Community Leaders Breakfast at FCIís Training Building.

The purpose of the event was to allow Franklin CI the opportunity to inform community leaders about the institution, to share information regarding current and future plans to help accomplish departmental and institutional goals, and to make them aware of the important role the community can play in assisting Franklin CI reach those goals, particularly as it relates to community projects and reducing recidivism. 

The event began with welcome and prayer, formal introductions, and recognition of 8-year-old Chase Crum who recently discovered contraband at the Will Kendrick Park that had been left for inmate work crews at the park. Hosford presented young Chase with a commendation letter and appreciation for discovery of the contraband left for inmates. The warden indicated the discovery by Chase kept the contraband from entering Franklin C.I. which in turn provided for the overall safety and security of the institution.

A PowerPoint presentation was presented by Assistant Wardens Willie Brown and Dwayne Watson and Col. Perez Bellelis, which included important statistical facts and figures relating to staffing and budget, daily operations at the institution, programming and re-entry activities that assist in reduction of recidivism rates, as well as information on the helpful role that Franklin CI inmates play in community work related projects.

The presentation included photographs depicting Franklin CI inmates working on clean-up and other construction related projects, which helped the community save money and ultimately resulted in taxpayer savings. Hosford spoke about the importance of partnering with leaders and members of the community to produce an outcome that benefits everyone when inmates successfully re-enter into society and the rate of recidivism is reduced. He further thanked the community leaders and the state delegation for their support of Franklin C.I. and the department.

One of the highlights took place during the opening portion of the event when County Commission Chairman Cheryl Sanders and Commissioner Smokey Parrish both praised the efforts of the institution and the impact in the Community.

Another noteworthy moment was when Will Kendrick, the DOCís legislative affairs director, personally thanked Hosford for providing inmate labor for construction, cleaning and other related Franklin County projects, which resulted in a tremendous savings to the taxpayers. He further indicated that the newly constructed Franklin Work Camp was constructed using bond money from the state which would be paid back over time by the department.

The Franklin CI leadership team is looking forward to working with community attendees who indicated they are eager to see future partnership initiatives come to fruitio