Inmates crochet for those in need

3:26 AM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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Inmates inside Folsom State Prison are giving back by crocheting and knitting scarves, blankets and stuffed animals. 

"That probably was the biggest challenge, being in prison and crocheting," inmate Michael Parks said.

The items will be donated to needy children and the homeless with help from the Folsom Lake Lion's Club, which distributes the hand-made gifts to shelters throughout the Valley.

"It makes me know that I have empathy, makes me know that I have concern about more than just me," inmate David Smith said.

With the help of another inmate, Parks said he started the program three years ago. The inmates work in one of the lobbies at the prison and create their gifts using crochet materials donated from various organizations.

"I was dealing with a lot of crisis outside and I needed a therapeutic way of controlling my anger," Parks said.

That relief has drawn many of the convicts to grab a crochet hook and stay out of trouble.

"It gives me something to do when I'm sitting in my cell," inmate Chesley Evans said.

Evans is serving an 11-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter. He said this project has changed him for the better. 

"I'm getting out in 2015 and I really would like to see the reaction of some of the kids when they get this type of stuff," Evans said.

The idea of giving back while serving time is helping many of these inmates seek redemptive justice. 

"I have grandkids and stuff like that too," Smith said. "I hope that somebody will look out for them and do the job that I'm not doing right now."


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