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Male Inmates Crochet For Charity

Aug 06, 2015 09:45AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Yarn is donated to the prison for the inmates to transform into clothing and blankets, which are in turn donated to charity.

By Erin Dixon

Draper - The Utah State Prison is home to many volunteer programs. Several months ago the Draper Journal published a story about a particular program for the women that gives them an opportunity to crochet items for charity. But crocheting is not limited to just the females. 

Mr. and Mrs. Price (who asked that only their last name be used) of Draper are the directors of the crochet program and music school at the Oquirrh division at the prison. Twice a week for three hours, the men here are invited to participate to learn an instrument, or to crochet items to be donated. Anyone is welcome as long as they pass certain behavioral requirements. 

All of the crochet supplies are donated, and the finished pieces are given to a homeless shelter, Primary Children’s Hospital or to the VA. The men teach each other, some never having touched a hook before prison. They make hats, beanies, sweaters, scarves and more, and the goods go to whomever is in most need at the time. Mrs. Price said that, “They’re doing a lot of really nice, pretty things. One man said that he’d never crocheted anything outside of prison, but he’s made seven blankets, plus scarves and shawls and hats.”

The program relies completely on volunteers. If a volunteer is not available, the men are sent back to their dormitories. Many of the inmates prefer to be in the chapel where the classes are held than anywhere else in the prison. Mrs. Price said, speaking about an inmate’s perspective, “It’s not fun to sit in the dorm and be there. It’s not a pleasant place to be. Coming to the chapel, it’s quieter, it’s more relaxed, there’s not the hassle going on. A lot of them would rather come to the chapel when it’s open to have that break.” She said that when they are there, they “yearn for home.”

If you are interested in volunteering at the Utah State Prison, please visit: corrections.utah.gov


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