The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

April 12, 2012

Juvenile inmates build Habitat homes

ANDERSON, Ind. — Four teenage boys, wearing jumpsuits speckled with fresh white paint, prepared to call it a day as they finished work on an under-construction Habitat for Humanity house.

The work was messy, one boy said as he wiped paint from his forearm. But it meant he was one step closer to going home — his real home, not the correctional facility he’s in.

“It was fun, I guess. I never built a house before,” he said.

The teens are inmates at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Every week the facility brings a group of Level 4 inmates — the level before release — to assist Habitat for Humanity.

On Wednesday, the boys coated the inside of a house near Sycamore and 12th streets with oil-based paint. A week before, a different set of inmates built a porch.

“It’s a good skill builder,” said project manager Eldrick Bullock.

The house is scheduled to be completed in June and will become the fifth house in six years to be built in part by facility inmates.

For Bullock and other facility staff, projects like these are about “restorative justice,” allowing kids who have taken from their communities through criminal behavior the chance to give back.

While Bullock said most of the kids have minimal experience in construction, their energy and youth make up for it.

“(Habitat for Humanity) has been real appreciative of their hard work. They like the muscle they bring,” Bullock said.

Carl Graddy, executive director of Madison County Habitat for Humanity, said the teens have done “a little bit of everything,” from working on the foundation to roofing.

Habitat was recognized last year for its work with juvenile inmates, Graddy said.

“We were the only one where (the inmates) came out of the prison to do work for us,” he said. “All the other organizations went inside the jail to work with the kids.”

To reward teens for their efforts, Graddy asked facility staff if he could buy them pizza.

“The kids really got a kick out of that. They probably hadn’t had pizza in a long time,” Graddy said.

Eric Courtney, program director at the facility, said the teens benefit from the builds.

“Even if they’ve only been working for four hours, they can look back and feel like they’ve accomplished something. I think that’s a big help,” Courtney said.

According to Courtney, 80 percent of kids who leave the facility aren’t arrested as adults. In fact, he wants his kids to be “boring.”

“I want them to go out and be taxpayers and give back to the community,” Courtney said.

Find Sam Brattain on Facebook and @SamBrattain on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0425 - Block Party - JC 2 Learning block by block More than 45 toddlers and parents came to the Pendleton Public Library on Thursday to play with blocks. Although that seems like a fairly normal, everyday activity, the children were learning skills that will help them down the road.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Homeless man to be buried in Maplewood A funeral will be held at East Maplewood Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. today for Christopher Cook, a homeless man who died on April 17.

    April 25, 2014

  • Property tax deadline May 12 Almost 200 property owners have taken advantage of a new program implemented by the Madison County treasurer’s office that allows for monthly tax payments.

    April 24, 2014

  • City to celebrate Earth Day After a one-year hiatus, the celebration of Earth Day in Anderson will take place at Shadyside Memorial Park this Saturday.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0425 - Primary Clerk-Tim Nardoni Clerk candidates discuss service, vote centers A seasoned politician is facing a candidate who says he is prepared to tackle the “egotistical officials pursuing lawless agendas” in this year’s race for Madison County clerk.

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • South Madison offers 'cyber safety' program for parents From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Tmbler, the list of social media websites is long and seems to grow almost daily.

    April 25, 2014

  • NWS - HB0424 - Mike Spyers City plans to extend 67th Street to Main Street The city of Anderson is moving forward with plans to extend 67th Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east to Main Street over the next few years as funds become available.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0121 - Luck photo Luck, Colts to open season against Manning's Broncos

    The Indianapolis Colts will open the 2014 regular season at AFC champion Denver in a Sunday night showdown pitting quarterback Peyton Manning against his former team.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 24 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 24, 2014

  • Ritz, Glenda Ritz to speak at APA's Senior Girls Luncheon Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be the guest speaker at Anderson Preparatory Academy's Senior Girls Luncheon on April 29.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

March Staff Photos

Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide