Decorating for the holidays at the state penitentiary

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The holidays are a time for family, laughter and decorations. At the State Penitentiary, inmates get a piece of home from inside the guarded doors and fenced in building.

Even in confinement, inmates make the most of the holiday season.

“For a lot of us, we’ve never been to prison before and even for the ones who have, around this time of year we’re used to being with our families and doing stuff like this. So even if it is just card board paper and tape and stuff, I think just decorating for the holidays, kind of makes you feel like you’re not in a prison," said inmate Vincent Musi.

And, it might not smell like pine, but they’ve got a tree that looks just fine.

“Kind of helps us lift our spirits up. Makes us feel good even in the place we are. But still it’s a little chance at happiness and joy to be a part of the Christmas spirit. Even in a place like this,” said inmate Antonio Stridiron.

Drawing, taping and helping decorate they say this helps them rehabilitate.

And although, some may be closer to the outside than others, just for a minute, this feels like home.

“To have something small that takes us out of this prison world. Anything to kind of get us implemented to do something good and positive, it just feels really good,” said inmate Michael Taylor.

The spirit of Christmas even exists behind bars.