In the community

Inmates serve up Christmas cheer for Malheur County seniors

Ulee Yanok, Verna Defoe, and Steven Parsi pose for a picture at Snake River Correctional Institution on Tuesday, Dec. 10. (The Enterprise/Joe Siess)

ONTARIO – The sound of Christmas caroling isn’t typically associated with prison, but once a year, these caroling inmates don red and white Christmas hats and prepare and serve warm meals to area seniors. 

The occasion was the annual Senior Christmas Meal at the minimum-security facility at the Snake River Correctional Institution. Held Tuesday, Dec. 10, the event featured a choir of inmates singing traditional songs such as “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Both inmates and seniors had positive words about the luncheon, which not only allows inmates to experience a bit of the holiday spirit, but also fosters a sense of normalization between them and the community they will someday rejoin as . . .