The Easter Bunny Hops to Larch
April 26, 2019
(Alexandra Barton, DOC Communications)
Egg and bunny decorations filled the dining hall at Larch Corrections Center on Easter Sunday. Inmates and their families gathered together to celebrate the holiday and enjoy their time with each other. Incarcerated individuals from the facility put on the event with the help of Religious Coordinator Zilvinas Jakstas.
“They own this event, I’m only a helper,” said Jakstas.
A few of the participants prepared an Easter-themed play to perform for their families and guests. The group wrote the script themselves and practiced twice a week for two months in preparation. A variety of characters, such as the Easter Bunny and a Chicken, made appearances throughout the show. Jakstas was thrilled to see the incarcerated individuals show such commitment and enthusiasm throughout the rehearsal process.
“Just to be a part and see the excitement,” said Jakstas. “I remember we put on the costumes, and they were like little kids, excited and happy. Just to see that joy, they felt like there were no walls anymore.”
One of the incarcerated participants, Paul Adams, expressed how happy it made him to be able to perform in front of his family and show them a new side of himself. He is thankful to be able to share his beliefs in a positive and productive way.
“It’s so awesome, because for me, doing things that are faith-based and for God, that’s what I hope my future to be,” said Adams. “So it’s an integral part of not coming back here, I believe.”
Events like this help the department in its mission to improve public safety by providing opportunities for pro-social connections with loved ones. These connections can lead to a smoother reentry into the community and reduce recidivism.
“It’s family time,” said Jakstas. “To sit down and celebrate togetherness and just Easter joy.”