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Dealing With Aging Inmates Prompts Start Of Prison Hospice Program

A Wabash Valley prison is dealing with an aging inmate population by training prisoners to give end-of-life care for their cellmates through a hospice program.

The Indianapolis Star says the program at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, was the idea of a prisoner who had watched a friend die of lung cancer four years ago without a single outside visitor.

The program started three years ago and since then inmate volunteers have cared for 50 convicts in their final days.

The hospice ward at the Carlisle prison houses up to 10 inmates and 12 inmates are trained to serve as their "companions."

Volunteers receive an hour a month of on-the-job training.