FDCF inmates conduct Relay inside

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Daniel Anthony, an inmate at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, wears a clown nose as he sets up a game at the Insiders' Relay for Life.

The inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility gave back Tuesday by participating in the prison’s annual Insiders’ Relay for Life.

The ninth annual relay was held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the prison’s yard.

Inmates raised money for cancer research by walking around the track, playing games and preparing lunch.

Lori Cook, a correctional counselor at the prison, said all the work done by both inmates and staff is voluntary.

“We have a core team of offenders and a core team of staff working outside of hours,” she said. “Everyone volunteers their time, skills and efforts.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Rayshaun Bullock, an inmate at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, tries to get a ring onto a soda bottle at the Insiders' Relay for Life Tuesday.

Nearly every inmate in the prison plays some sort of role in the Relay for Life, whether it’s helping to organize, preparing meals, supervising and playing games and participating in the walk itself.

“We really try to encourage the guys to be more pro-social,” Cook said.

All the money raised by the inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility goes to the American Cancer Society.

Groups such as the Webster County Pork Producers also showed up at the prison to help out during the day.

Inmates also had the opportunity to play games such as ring toss, Plinko and spinning a wheel with multiple prizes on it.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Andrew Rich, an inmate at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, grills some burgers during the Insiders' Relay for Life early Tuesday afternoon.

One of the inmates who helped plan the Insiders’ Relay was Cristian Lucier.

He said the inmates who volunteer for the Relay all feel great.

“We all feel bad about being in here,” he said. “We want a reason to redeem ourselves and this is a great place to start.”

Giving back to the community helps the inmates in many ways.

“It gives you a sense of contributing and it gives you a little bit of respect as well,” Lucier said. “And that’s something a lot of people don’t have.”

He also said it gives the inmates and prison staffers a chance to interact.

“That blurs the lines and contributes to the whole place,” he said.

He added that planning the entire Relay takes a lot of work, but it’s successful in the end.