At Spring Creek Correctional Center, the prison store funds the clubs. The clubs fund the hobby shop. And the hobby shop creates an outlet for growth but only limited options for making money - right now.
The world inside Spring Creek Correctional Center is in many ways just like the world outside. Prison clubs function as nonprofits, filling service gaps and trying to build healthier communities.
Prison commissaries around the country make millions each year, and most of the profits go to private companies. But not at Spring Creek Correctional Center, where the prisoners own and operate the store and use the profits to benefit the communities inside and outside the prison walls.
Seward used to host a lot of bake sales. It was the only way to raise money for small organizations. Now, instead of buying cupcakes, people can donate little bits of money that are invested and help the whole community go a long way.
Let’s say you want to start a business or buy a house. You’ll probably need a loan from a bank. That means you need a good credit history or collateral – something to prove that you’ll pay it back. But if that’s not an option… then what?
Emergency shelters are supposed to be supportive safe havens. But in Fairbanks, it was a little too supportive. So staff developed a new plan for pushing people out the door by helping them stand on their own feet.