Alaska Inmates Find Identity in Orchestra

In this Nov. 17, 2012, photo, Sarah Jane Coffman practices the viola with the Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility Orchestra in Eagle River, Alaska.
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Whenever anyone outside of prison shows any positive interest in the inmates, Coffman said it helps the women's self-esteem.

"Sometimes you feel like you don't matter because you know you've done something wrong and this is your punishment, and you don't really deserve to be recognized, and so when people do, it's surprising and it feels really good," said Coffman, who now works for an accountant and is taking classes.

"That's huge in transforming a person's life because they want to keep doing that," she said.



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