- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Trevin Reinert spent more than a year working on a project that would help him become an Eagle Scout, in what was perhaps an unlikely place: the Topeka women’s prison.

Four new benches that surround a playground at Topeka Correctional Facility are going to have an impact, facilities services director Kevin Keith said, because that area was created so families can feel a sense of normalcy.

“It’s great for the families that come here,” Keith told The Topeka Capital-Journal . “The fact that he thought about us is too cool.”

Reinert, 17, visited the prison and presented his idea last year. Initially, Reinert wasn’t sure what to expect. But he found people who were walking around on the grounds, a library and inquisitive inmates who were interested in his project.

It was different than how prisons are painted, said Reinert, who will be a senior this fall at Topeka West High School.



He then had to make a presentation to his Boy Scout troop and raise funds. After selecting a design, he purchased supplies and started constructing the benches in September.

Keith said that he was impressed someone so young would be thoughtful of the facility.

“He was responsible for the project from point A, all the way through,” Keith said. “It’s inspiring to see what he’s done.”

Throughout the process, Reinert said he gained insight into what it takes to organize a project and learned how much work goes into it.

Reinert, his father and younger brother Taylor, and maintenance supervisor Steve Lincoln spent several hours last week finishing the installation.

Reinert said he can now look back to the start and see his progress, including “lots of trial and error.”

His father, Todd Reinert, said carrying out the project was a “great growth opportunity” for his son.

“I’m proud of him for thinking this would be a good project,” Todd Reinert said, adding that it helps serve those who aren’t able to serve themselves and shows that people on the outside are caring.

Trevin Reinert said he hopes the benches last a long time and that they give parents the chance to interact with their kids during visits. Reinert has been involved in scouting since the first grade.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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