Incarcerated men crochet projects for the community

A crochet program at Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility allows incarcerated men to give back to the community.
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 8:22 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Men incarcerated at the Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility (CVTCF) are spending their time recovering from substance abuse and preparing to re-enter society. A crochet program at the institution also allows them to give back to the community.

The men in care at the facility can learn how to make blankets, stuffed animals, hats and gloves and other projects that are then donated to places like Bolton Refuge House, Sojourner House, the Chippewa Falls Police Department and other local non-profits.

“All the people we work with have had substance use issues so we are trying to find ways to find healthy activities to do,” says Allison Hagen, a treatment specialist at CVCTF. “Previously they might not have thought to do anything like that and turn to things that would lead to trouble or had them using and now they have that void of what they do in their down time.”

Crocheted stuffed animals made by men at CVCTF
Crocheted stuffed animals made by men at CVCTF(WEAU)

The men can check out crochet materials to keep busy in between other programs in which they address substance abuse, anger management, cognitive thinking, domestic violence and other life skills needed to return to the community.

“Crocheting is a wonderful way to reduce stress, it is a healthy hobby, it is a way to occupy a person’s mind and when your stress relief at one time was to use substances or unhealthy ways of dealing with emotions here is a way they can take home with them to handle stress in a healthy way,” says Kelly Misfeldt, a social worker at CVCTF.

Since the program began in 2017, Misfeldt estimates they have donated at least 300 projects to various non-profits.

“They get excited when they get to make something for someone who is gonna appreciate and use it,” Misfeldt says.

All of the materials used for the crochet projects are donated by community members. If you are interested in donating any yarn, crochet hooks, etc. you can drop it off at Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility.

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