As many Prison Education News readers are aware, PrisonLawBlog.com is our sister website which focuses on prisoners’ rights and prison law. It is another property of Middle Street Publishing. Recently the Prison Law Blog launched a new project called the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project. This project consists of taking care of the wild pigeon population at FCI Petersburg, a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia. This includes feeding, providing medical care (when possible), and protecting the pigeon population, not to mention rescuing them from man-made structures when they become trapped. These feral birds have developed an entire society of their own, and that society includes a number of human members, too.
The public outreach component of this project is the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project blog. On this blog, on which they just started publishing content, they chronicle the work they do, the incredibly funny antics of the individual pigeons, their successes, and even their failures. Planned stars of the blog are Mama Whiteface (the matriarch of the flock), Whitey Ford (the pigeon shot caller), Betty Ford (Whitey’s mate), Terry Dactyl, Speckles the Clown, Frosty Speckles, Scrappy Cocoa, and more. In fact, profiles are currently in the works for all of these pigeon “celebrities” and more, which will be illustrated with either drawings or paintings of each profiled pigeon (since the prisoners of FCI Petersburg do not have access to a camera through which photos could be procured).
The love of birds, other animals, and nature aside, the reason you should care about this project is that in a prison — a place often devoid of humanity and care — the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project supporters manage to inject a healthy measure of compassion. Through the pigeons, the project supporters are able to make a real, meaningful difference in the lives of another being, even if the being is a pigeon.
When you have a moment, swing by the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project blog over at PrisonLawBlog.com and see what this rather interesting group of federal prisoners are trying to do.