One of the biggest challenges when you’re living in prison is finding different ways to spend your time so that the days go by a little faster. I’m lucky enough to have a television set, so I can kill a lot of time by watching movies and sporting events.
Sometimes I read a book, take a walk on the runway at the casino, or do a puzzle. But one of the most popular ways to pass the time is arts and crafts.
I don’t have the crafting gene so this isn’t for me. For many, however, arts and crafts are not just a way to pass the time, but a way to re-socialize and engage in something meaningful while learning how to be mindful and patient.
The question for this blog post is: Can you knit in prison? The answer is yes! Where I am, one of the most common crafts is weaving. I also paid my roommate, who is a skilled knitter, to make two blankets and send them home to my nieces and nephews.
Knitting is more than just a hobby. For many, it’s a way to make money.
This blog post will cover:
- weaving in prison
- Arts and crafts classes offered in prisons
weaving in prison
While the rules vary from prison to prison, most involve some kind of arts and crafts project, including weaving. Some establishments even allow you to order yarn and knitting needles for personal projects that you can do in your room.
This privilege does have limits. You must obtain a craft license from your caseworker to own these items, and there is a limit to how many you can have at one time.
Our prison library had knitting books in different patterns, so people made all kinds of things: blankets, scarves, hats, gloves, purses, hair accessories and sweaters. If you have a craft license, you can wear a knitted scarf, but everything else must be sent home when finished.
Like I mentioned before, inmates who really know what they’re doing can make some decent money doing knitting as part of their busywork, as people spend money making different items as gifts for friends and family.
Arts and crafts classes offered in prisons
While some prisons do allow inmates to keep items of weaving in their rooms or cells, the vast majority of weaving in prisons takes place in arts and crafts programs, often coordinated by outside volunteers.
in Maryland, weaving in prison The show Dorsey Run ㄧ a male facility ㄧ very popular, have a waiting listThursday afternoon classes teach inmates discipline, empathy, patience, dedication and work ethic. In the meantime, there’s more to the plan.
Hats made by the prisoners were donated to charity and a nearby public school.
“It’s their opportunity to show empathy. They say to themselves, ‘I was the kid who went to school without a hat,'” says Lynn Zwerling. weaving in prison“I think a lack of empathy is the main reason we have criminals. If that was strengthened a lot, I think it would make a big difference.”
exist Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center In Missouri, there is a program called, restorative justicewhere prisoners can weave or sew blankets, which are then donated to charity.
There are programs like weaving in prison and restorative justice in prisons across the country. Not only do these projects help pass the time and serve the community, they also have a positive impact on inmates.
research shows Arts education can improve attitudes, reduce disciplinary reports, and lead to better participation in academic and vocational programs.
“We think knitting provides everything you need to do and everything you should be learning in kindergarten,” Zwerling said. “It teaches you how to focus. Control your anger. We feel like all of these skills are life skills, job skills. These are skills that are probably lacking in a lot of people in our society.”
If you’re wondering about knitting needles being used as weapons, that’s really not a problem, because all the tools in art classes are always counted and counted after each class. If your craft license doesn’t match your personal collection, the consequences can be serious.
So there you have it. Yes, you can weave in prison, which often allows prisoners to learn life skills they may have missed growing up. Or, they can use their skills to earn money while helping fellow inmates.
Have you ever volunteered for a prison art project? Share your experience in the comments below.
Sources: Knitting Behind Bars Knitting Behind Bars, Learning Focus & Patience At prison, a knitting class that isn’t necessarily about knitting The Impact of Prison Arts Programs on Inmate Attitudes and Behavior: A Quantitative Evaluation