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Published December 14, 2013, 09:37 PM

Inmates at pre-release Centre bake cookies to celebrate holiday season

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - For many, this season is a time reserved for family. And for that reason, Christmas can be especially difficult for those behind bars or in a pre-release center.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - For many, this season is a time reserved for family.

And for that reason, Christmas can be especially difficult for those behind bars or in a pre-release center.

It's a tradition in many homes - the smell of freshly baked cookies, colorful icing and sprinkles.

But these aren't any ordinary cookies.

Cathie Ceglowski, Centre Resident: "This is a part of us recovering and celebrating the holidays."

Women living at the Centre in Fargo are baking, decorating, and laughing with volunteers from the faith-based Jail Chaplains program.

Residents like Cathie Ceglowski are re-acclimating to life after serving time in jail or prison and they won't be home for the holidays.

Ceglowski: "This is really touching my heart because I can't be with my daughter - she's 8 years old - so when I'm making these cookies, I'm thinking of her."

Jail Chaplains director Gerri Leach says it's a way to let them know that they are not forgotten.

Leach: "They have made some choices that have landed them here, but it doesn't make them bad people. And God loves them just as much as he loves you and I."

With Christmas music jingling in the background, it's a little piece of home; some holiday cheer to boost their spirits.

Armentrout: "Reminds me of my childhood and being with my kids."

Lafferty: "It brings back childhood memories, baking with my grandmother."

Despite a past of addiction and running with the wrong people, Ceglowski says she is on the road to recovery.

Ceglowski: "I can't be with my daughter. But I'm starting over. And I look at that as a gift."

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