The arts have long been a way of getting through to troubled teens. Dance, theater, fine art, etc. have all been used to help break down barriers and to inspire kids to achievement. Recently NPR had a program about a succesful theater program in a prison. The recidivism rate went down drastically for those who participated.
Now, I find that quilting and sewing programs have had success in prisons.. Here is a shop featuring items made by inmates. And these lovely quilts!! Today's whip up has an excellent article about another program: Handmade in Prison. These programs are in the UK, and I certainly admire the people who organized and promoted the programs themselves-- as well as those who volunteer to teach.
I did a little research and discovered that Alex Anderson of Simply Quilts has done an episode with Lani Longshore about quilting in a women's prison. And yet another article on the topic. Obviously, my head has been buried in the sand; I thought this was a new and rare idea.
Well, it may be in wider practice than I thought, but it still a wonderful idea!