After six weeks, ten inmates at Wildwood Correctional Center’s minimum camp have completed a crochet project with a goal of giving back to the community. In six weeks, the inmates have made over 90 hats and mittens to be donated to local elementary schools through a community organization. The program is modeled after one at the Palmer Correctional Center. Inmates complete three projects for charity and a fourth one can be sent home to their family. The crochet program started with 5 inmates and at the end of six weeks, at least ten inmates are being taught the basics of crocheting by an inmate teacher.
“We have some big ideas”, says Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud. “We answered a radio announcement from one of the local elementary schools for the need of warm weather gear and the inmates got busy and made 50 hats. I just dropped them off last week and they were very much appreciated. Next, we hope to donate to a Veteran’s organization and eventually make items for Hospice of Alaska. This is a way that we can have these guys give back to our communities.
The program is sustained by donated yarn, said superintendent Bob Hibpshman, who also sees the program as a way to keep inmates busy and out of trouble. “What a wonderful way to help these guys learn a new skill and help others in the process. One thing that is needed to make this program a success is yarn. We have been taking donations from the Salvation Army and private donors, we hope this program can continue and grow in the future.”