WARREN, Maine (AP) — Maine State Prison inmate Steve Carpentier (kahr-pehn-TEER') still sees the face of a dying man in his dreams. But he says it's his smile that he remembers most.
Carpentier is one of a dozen inmates participating in a hospice program at the state's maximum security prison. Participants are finding an untapped reservoir of empathy by caring for their fellow inmates in their final hours.
The hospice program is using therapy dogs and soothing music to help inmates near death. There's even a band made up of hospice volunteers that will perform this week at the prison in Warren.
The program is part of a trend at prisons where inmate populations are aging along with the rest of America. Officials say more than 60 prisons nationwide have hospice or end-of-life programs.