An inmate arts program that started about five years ago at the Leelanau County Jail teaches everything from crochet to fly tying.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the classes are taught by corrections officer Diane Speas. The arts program is funded almost entirely by donations and recently received an annual $750 contribution from the Suttons Bay Art Festival.
Speas says the program not only gives inmates a skill they can use on the outside, but participants come away with a sense that someone believes in them. Classes also help break up the monotony and isolation of incarceration.
Up to 12 inmates are in a class and only low-security inmates are allowed. The flies tied are given to veterans.