Inmates sew frogs for kids

Inmates sew frogs for kids
PENDLETON, Oregon - Prisoners behind bars no longer break rocks in the hot sun -- or work on a chain gang.

In fact, most learn valuable skills they can use on the outside, clock making, carpentry and even sewing.

There's a group of inmates in Oregon trying to give back with frogs.

It's a break from society's norms, men with sewing machines.

Men with pinking shears.

All men behind bars. These Eastern Oregon inmates decided to do more than sew uniforms. They designed a simple frog.

"Inmate Alberts" said, "For kids to play with in the visiting room and stuff like that. It turned into something more than what we intended."

Thanks to the Umatilla County Sheriff's department. An officer had one of these frogs in his car. Responding to a domestic violence call, he gave it to a child for comfort.

Now the department wants 150 more. An order the inmates can't wait to fill. They are fully supported by the prison staff.

Dwight Hawkins, program coordinator, "In a world where it's gray and it's bars, to add a little bit of color and to have them feel as if they have the design in their hands is empowering."

"They can also make other animals, like Buzz here, but are limited to resources so for now they're going to stick to the frogs."

Inmates use donated material or leftovers from prison uniforms. Frogs are made on their free time. They can crank them out in minutes.

Inmate Haynes didn't want to talk to me about how he got here, but he's not leaving. So he'd rather focus on making a difference.

He said, "I'm doing the rest of my life here. This is my little way of giving back to the community. My way of saying sorry for what I did."

Saying sorry one stitch at a time.

So far, the inmates have made close to 80 of the stuffed frogs. They have other projects in the works.