The Missouri Quilt Guild and the Missouri Department of Corrections joined forces for the second year of the “Fill Your Stockings” Restorative Justice program.
By Elizabeth Trovall (Jefferson City, Mo.)
In the program offenders create Christmas stockings that are donated to mid-Missouri food banks.
Using scraps from donated fabric, offenders like Stephen Pine sew together elaborate stockings that are used for auctions, gifts, and decorations. The program also gives the offenders a place to use their creativity. Pine spends 7 hours a day working on the stockings. He said the program changed his behavior at Algoa Correctional Facility.
“When I got here I had a pretty bad past with prison issues and things. Just decided, I have three grandkids now and I just decided it’s time I do something to turn this around. This came available and I haven’t stopped for what, six months," said Pine.
Brenda Rose is the Interim Executive Director of Serve Inc. in Fulton, one of the food banks that received 53 of the stockings. She said she was grateful, and the stockings were used in a variety of ways.
"Some were mailing them long distance. Others bought them in honor of other folks to include maybe a gift certificate in and present it as an honorarium during kinds of celebrations and occasions. So there's just a variety of ways to use them," said Rose.
So far the program has been implemented in two mid-Missouri prisons; Algoa and the Jefferson City Correctional Center utilize the program.