Jamestown Correctional Center inmates find creative way to give gifts of comfort

The inmates are crocheting hats, blankets and even hacky sacks.


JAMESTOWN, N.D.- Inmates at James River Correctional Center are taking the time to help those in need.

It all started with an unusual request made by an inmate more than a decade ago.

“One resident asking me for some yarn,” says Chaplain Mark Hanes from the James River Correctional Center.

The inmate was looking for a way to pass time.

He took it upon himself to learn how to crochet, and soon after, other inmates followed suit.

“Before long there were dozens of guys crocheting,” Hanes said.

Hats, blankets, and even hacky sacks.

“Took those out to places they were delighted to get them,” Hanes said.

Areas as near as the Red River Valley and as far as Central America, Africa and Europe.

For orphans, impoverished people or families who lost a loved one.

“These things that are getting made are not just getting tossed aside, they don’t not matter, they matter greatly to someone,” Hanes said.

And for some impoverished families, like one in Nicaragua, what was once a crochet hat now serves as a cloth to wash dishes.

“These people don’t throw anything away. This object that was once a hat, is now something that she still uses because they don’t have much,” Hanes said.

But the biggest gain the inmates have received is recognizing their own value because they’re being valued.

“The reward is what we feel knowing that we’re walking towards our purpose. And that’s what I believe these guys do, they get a sense of purpose,” Hanes said.

More recently, the men have been busy creating newborn hats and adult blankets for the Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News