ALVA, Okla. — For the 3rd year inmates at the Bill Johnson Correctional Center have assembled a Christmas Choir.

BJCC is a substance abuse/mental health treatment facility for men is located in Alva, Okla. An easy 30 minute drive south of Medicine Lodge, Kan. Founded in 1995 the minimum-security facility has grown to a capacity of 584 inmates, most of whom are serving time for drug-related offenses.

The Christmas Choir is led by Chaplain John Clapp, the men perform for the staff and prison yard. Most of the men have no musical training. But they share fellowship, laughter & it lessens the burden of incarceration during the holiday season. We hope this brightens your day too.”

OKLAHOMA DEPT OF CORRECTIONS

This Oklahoma women’s prison is sparkling with holiday spirit. Hundreds of Mabel Bassett inmates sewed and stuffed Christmas stockings to donate to underprivileged children. Watch and share this sweet story on the spirit of giving.

Posted by Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Thursday, December 16, 2021

The following video shows an innovative program that allows ODOC inmates across the state to stay connected with their children while being incarcerated.

Oklahoma Messages Project takes trained volunteer teams into prisons to coach and film incarcerated parents reading a book to their child. 

They record about 1,000 messages each Christmas onto DVD that is sent to their children, along with a copy of the book.

Kara Chapman is one Oklahoma inmate who loves reading to her children. The only difference. She is doing it from prison. 

“My youngest daughter is four now, but I have been incarcerated for three years. So she doesn’t remember me really. This is the only way she gets to see my face. And put a face with that voice.”

According to their research on this volunteer project it is working. 65% suffered less seasonal depression and sadness. 

Cheri Fuller of Oklahoma Messages Project states, “Reading and strong reading skills is the #1 thing these children need to succeed in school. And to break the cycle. And to stay in school and become the great person they are going to be.” 

Read more on their website, Oklahoma Messages Project.

Christmas is right around the corner. Holidays can be a difficult time for incarcerated parents. But this ministry is keeping families connected by giving returning citizens a voice. Watch and share this sweet story. We think you’ll especially enjoy the grand finale.

Posted by Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Friday, November 5, 2021

Stay with Joplin News First as we continue to learn more. Subscribe to our daily newsletter so you don’t miss an article. Click here then check the box next to our name and click subscribe.