Wednesday night I ventured to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility to play volleyball with some of the inmates.
I was a member of my high school’s volleyball team, but haven’t played since I graduated. Well, unless you count the occasional backyard barbeque, that is. I’ve considered playing on an intramural team, but can’t make a multiple night commitment.
Correctional volleyball was something I’d wanted to try since freshman year, but the times never worked with my schedule, or all of the slots would fill up before I got a chance to sign up.
This year, I finally found an open slot that worked with my schedule. I was a little nervous when we got into the van and drove to the prison because I didn’t know what to expect.
There was nothing to worry about, though. It’s an all-female prison, and we’d only be playing with privileged inmates. As far as I know, none of them are convicted murderers.
It turned out to be a lot of fun! I enjoyed being active and playing for fun; we hardly bothered to keep an accurate score.
One of the funniest moments came when I collided with an inmate as we both went for the ball. I fell down and she immediately lifted me up off the ground by hooking her arms under mine.
It only took her a few minutes to realize that she was touching me and isn’t supposed to have contact with visitors. She couldn’t stop apologizing.
Even though these women are locked up behind bars because of their past actions, they are just as human as any free citizen.
The inmates were very grateful that we came to play with them and enjoy every chance they get to socialize. I can’t wait to go back and play again!