Most inmates make no more than 55 cents an hour at their prison jobs. They save up their money to buy a TV or radio,

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Best Example of Giving by Those Who Have Next to Nothing

Concerned Lifers

Most inmates make no more than 55 cents an hour at their prison jobs. They save up their money to buy a TV or radio, or just the toiletries that are in short supply when you're doing time. Shortly before Christmas 2009, a group of prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex who call themselves Concerned Lifers came up with another idea: donating to the families of six Puget Sound police officers who had recently been slain, including the four gunned down at a Lakewood coffee shop. "I'll be honest with you, a lot of people in prison don't like police officers," says Tony Wheat, 65, one of the men who launched the notion. He says his group got to thinking, though: "How would we feel if one of our own family members was killed?" Plus, there was the recognition, at least for Wheat, that "police officers don't put us in prison; we do." Soliciting donations from within the wider prison, his group raised around $600, including, from one man, $30 of a $36 paycheck. A prison volunteer who works with Concerned Lifers matched the donation, bringing the total to $1,200. —Nina Shapiro

 
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