Walla Walla Penitentiary Releases WSU Butterflies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Walla Walla Penitentiary Releases WSU Butterflies

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Hundreds of monarch butterflies will fly over the walls at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla this month to help researchers learn about their migration patterns.  

About 40 inmates raise the butterflies, feeding the caterpillars until they turn into winged insects. 

The research is led by Washington State University Associate Professor of Entomology David James. The butterflies carry a small tag with his email address. People who find them, contact him. 

Two monarchs from last year's release were found - one in Utah and one north of San Francisco.  

Directors at the prison say the butterfly program is therapeutic for inmates and improves their behavior.