Monday, August 9, 2010

Sheila has started a forum on

Knitting Behind Bars, a program developed by LynnZ to bring the zen of knitting to male inmates at the Jessup Pre-Release Unit (JPRU) in Jessup, Maryland.
group details
Join us as we knit with our Thursday evening Knitting Group, the men of Jessup Pre-Release Program in Jessup, Maryland.

We would like to share with you the friendships we have made, the accomplishments of the men and their adventures through the process of returning to the outside world.

Jessup Pre-Release is a facility where the men may spend up to 3 years before they are released from their incarceration. It also houses men who are handicapped and serving longer sentences.

We have never asked these men what they did to put themselves behind the razor wire. They often tell us what they did when they are ready to trust us. We accept them as they are now, and help them establish friendships and the satisfaction of learning an awesome skill…….KNITTING!

We would like to share with you their personal triumphs and their life accomplishments. We hope you are as proud and astounded as we are. There is no prison reform in Maryland or much of the United States. Certainly not many programs that promote self-esteem, personal development or anger management. We also have begun to develop a mentoring program

Often the conversations we have with them are the same ones we find ourselves having with our other knitting friends in our various other knitting groups! Ooh! What yarn is that? What makes this fiber so soft? Can you teach me to pick up stitches after I drop them? Do you have a pattern for that scarf? How many beads do I put in this section? I just know I need to learn how to knit socks!

Through the generous contributions of the Knitters in Columbia, Maryland, we have contributed over 2,000 books to their once non-existant library, including a full law library! This is a on going venture.

We are self-funded. If you would like to help support our endeavor, you can visit our Etsy shop or our blog, Knitting Behind Bars.

We have been sponsoring this weekly group since November 2009. It is the highlight of our week! Please join us in our journey with the men of JPRU!