By David Wade, WBZ-TVBy David Wade

WEYMOUTH (CBS) – From the razor wrapped, steel trapped, not-so-great indoors, they come to learn about the great outdoors at the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth.

Inmates from the Norfolk County Jail will learn about discipline, communication and hard work.

As he used a syringe to feed medicine to a mallard, Lionel, who is serving two-and-a-half years for assault and battery told me, “You’re not an inmate when you’re here. It’s like a regular day at work. You just go about your business.”

The now-completed pilot program is meant to foster the rehabilitation of both inmate and animal.

It’s rich in irony and symbolism.

From the duck that gets to spread it’s wings, to the jailbird who’s been working to stop the foxes from escaping their pen.

Inmate Kenny Wallace is a carpenter trying fix himself with the program.

“Not only did it sharpen my skills as a carpenter, it made me believe in myself,” he said.

One inmate was released from jail during the wildlife program.

When he went free, he came back to the center to work for free.

He is volunteering three days a week in hopes of getting a job in his newfound career.

The program was put together by Sheriff Michael Bellotti.

He believes it’s worth the cost – about $22,000 – because it helps inmates be better citizens.



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