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National Award For Nevada's True Grit Inmate Program

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, October 7, 2011

The program is called True Grit. Mary Harrison created it. She's a psychologist at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center. Harrison says True Grit addresses the emotional, physical and mental well-being of geriatric prisoners.

"Our programs are designed for the elderly inmates so that they're with their peers. And the same thing with physical fitness - for elderly inmates, a lot of them don't want to go to the gym…it's not a safe place."

Harrison will accept the first-ever Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Elder Justice Award at Fordham University in New York City…named after a well-known advocate for the elderly.

Tina Maschi…one of the organizers of the award...says True Grit should be a model for handling an aging prison population.

"By being in prison, it's almost as if you can age 15 years faster. Programs like the one Mary Harrison helped to create helps to alleviate some of those stressers of the prison environment."

The award ceremony will be held this Saturday.

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