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PHOTO GALLERY: 4-H LIFE program keeps family close even behind bars

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:06 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cora Hall’s family moved to Chillicothe after she was sentenced to four years at the correctional facility in the town. During her time in prison, the 4-H LIFE program allowed her to spend time with her children outside of the visiting room. During their visits, they could do arts and crafts and other activities.

"It just expanded a lot of things for us," Cora Hall said. "It changed the way I saw my kids, and it did change our relationship. I looked forward to those visits probably more than the kids did."

Enrollment in the program varies in each institution, but all offenders must be violation-free within the institution. The offender cannot be serving time for sex offenses or crimes against children, and all visitors must be approved. Cora Hall also took classes for anger management, parenting and other life skills.

Corom Hall, 17, leans on his mother, Cora Hall's, shoulder while his brother, Caleb, 12, plays on his new phone. The family was able to spend extra time together during Cora Hall's recent prison sentence through the 4-H LIFE program.
Cora and John Hall hold hands at Chillicothe High School while waiting for their son Caleb's band concert to start on Dec. 15. Cora was released from prison in October after serving a four-year sentence.
Cora Hall congratulates her son Caleb after his school band concert on Dec. 15. While she was able to visit with her children more often through the 4-H LIFE program, the holiday concert was the first time Cora saw her son perform.
From left, John, Corom, Cora and Caleb Hall eat dinner as a family before Caleb's band concert. When Cora was sentenced to prison, John moved the family 200 miles from their home in Springfield in order to live closer to the Chillicothe Correctional Center.

Cora Hall rests with her dogs Reece, left, and Allen. Cora trained Reece as a puppy in the Chillicothe Correctional Center through the Puppies on Parole program. Her family later adopted Reece and had him at home when she was released from prison.

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