In 2011 Lynn Zwerling and Sheila Rovelstad started “Knitting Behind Bars,” a program that teaches male inmates at the Jessup State Correctional Facility how to knit. To date the all-volunteer program has taught more than 100 prisoners how to knit. Dozens of inmates remain on the waiting list for the program.
The Department of Corrections staff has noted that since the program’s inception there has been a change in the inmates’ behavior citing the calming affect that knitting has on the participants.
The class also gives back to the community. The inmates have knitted “Comfort Dolls,” which were given to children who were removed from their homes due to domestic violence issues. Currently the group is working on knitting hats for inner city school children (Maryland-ABC News, 1/15/2013).