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Missouri Inmates Sew Quilts for Foster Children as Part of Restorative Justice

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Sewing quilts with each individual child in mind

A small group of inmates at South Central Correction Center in Licking, Missouri is committed to sewing 80 personalized quilts, one for every child in the Texas County foster care system. Seven men have signed up for the program and they meet daily in the sewing room to go through designs and sew the quilts with each individual child in mind. They make sure that each quilt is high quality, carefully embroidering the child's first name in the corner. Sometimes they work more than 100 hours on one quilt before it is packaged with a handmade hat, school supplies, and toiletries donated by other inmates at South Central.

“It is an attempt to let these children know they haven’t been forgotten. You see the names of these kids in foster care; you see a 1-year-old or 2-year-old and it kind of breaks your heart” - Rod Harney, one of the volunteers in the program

Rehabilitation inside prison

Some of the volunteers have never touched a sewing machine before, but they all agree that it is a peaceful environment where they can stay busy while pursuing a good cause. The program is based on the concept of restorative justice, which can help with community-building and rehabilitation inside prison.

“It is an escape from the prison world and a chance to engage with the community” - said Joe Satterfield, case manager at South Central Correction Center.

These programs have already proven their benefits, therefore Missouri inmates statewide volunteer in a variety of ways, such as growing vegetables for food banks or training shelter dogs.

Read Shahla Farzan’s whole article here:

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