#22: Video Fridays in 60 Seconds — Better To Give Than To Receive

ARTWORK: “Girl and Boy,” By (OH) Anonymous. The children are the daughter and son of an inmate on his first year of a ten year sentence. Every week a new art or craft will be showcased in Video Fridays In 60 Seconds.

Today returning guest writer James P. Keihl, II asks the question: Why aren’t inmates allowed to donate blood? Astonishingly this is true, yet there are millions of inmates nationwide that could be a valued source of life saving blood. If only 10% of those incarcerated donated a pint of blood once a month, it would equate to many tens of thousands of additional pints monthly, and hundreds of thousands of pints of life saving blood per year.

It’s astounding that our elected officials haven’t pursued this avenue of societal benefit. So many inmates want to give back to society, to somehow begin to heal the pain or suffering from the acts they’ve committed, and to help the very communities they once lived in.

For most inmates, the only way they are allowed to give back to society is through participation in community service programs at the institutional level. These may involve making school supplies for poor school districts, knitting projects, gardening, making monetary donations through the vast network of inmate organizations or volunteering for community benefit projects that periodically crop up over the course of a year.

Yet, the one thing that can save a life inmates are not allowed to do: donate blood. Something seems very wrong with this picture.

Read James’s essay Better To Give Than To Receive now, and discover how to change this. He brings up important points. If allowed to donate, inmates have the potential to solve one of the nation’s most important needs. Perhaps it’s time to give this serious consideration.

It seems appropriate during this time of global need that this avenue and source of life saving blood should be explored, if nothing but to help during this crisis. Perhaps one of you reading this knows someone that may be able to help get the ball rolling so that the thousands of inmates wishing to help can? It’s a win/win for everyone, and it’s the right thing to do.


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2 thoughts on “#22: Video Fridays in 60 Seconds — Better To Give Than To Receive

  1. K. Kalhoon

    I, for one, think inmates should donate blood ….. just because a person committed a crime and is now paying for it has nothing to do with the quality of his blood. It wasn’t the blood that committed the crime, it was the person. Unless medical science can link something in a person’s blood to the commission of a crime I have to endorse their giving. James K. has a point: he took a life, now he wants to give one back. What’s wrong with that?.

    the inmate blood restriction, sounds more like an old fashioned wives tale that has may have roots int he deep south …. and never has been challenged. It’s time!!

    Nice article James.

    1. KM

      I also agree with the fact that inmates should be able to donate blood–especially if they are “clean”. What a terrible waste of an asset that is strongly needed. I am asking some of my nurse friends to see why!
      Great article!

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