NEWS: Creativity: An Escape for Prisoners in New Mexico

Watch the video in Spanish above or read the story in English below






These individuals perform a peculiar activity that causes smiles in some.

Thanks to needles and yarn of different colors, inmates who are in the Otero County Prison in the community of Chaparral, New Mexico, have escaped their reality and used their imagination to create woven pieces, which keep them occupied while they meet their time in prison.

“We forget all the problems for a while while one is weaving, making blankets, or the little animals,” said Oscar Arvizo, who learned to weave in prison.

For an approximately three years, the prison has taught classes where prisoners learn to weave.

“There are many who have a lot of time to do right now and instead of thinking about all the time you have to do and the years or months, you start doing something and you see that doing something, well, you pass your time faster and easier, ”said Arvizo.

On the other hand, for many prisoners, this activity not only means a way to pass the time, but also represents a way to contribute to the happiness of some because all the dolls, blankets and other items are donated to people of the community or nonprofit organizations.

“They love to help and it really is a great support for the people of our community like children in shelters, veterans, disabled and elderly,” said Mrs. Zambrano, a weaving teacher at the prison.

“With good intentions and with much love, we do it as if we were doing something for our family,” said Arvizo.

About Otero County Prison Facility

Otero County Prison Facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association—
achieving 100% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in
its most recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the Correctional
Education Association and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).