Fashion Designer Trains Inmates To Knit In Exchange For Time Served

Fashion designer Raquel Guimaraes is training inmates of a Brazil prison to knit her high-fashion clothes, and in return they are getting time served.

According to International Business Times, the Arisvaldo de Campos Pires, a high security prison in Juiz de Fora, Brazil has allowed a program for inmates to knit items for Raquel Guimaraes’s bran Doiselles.

Inmates of this prison are sentenced for crimes such as robbery and murder.

Inmates who are allowed to work for the program do get compensation. For every three days they work the program they get reduced sentences.

“They get a day cut from their sentence for every three days knitting” according to the Daily Mail.

International Business Times report also states that the inmates working the program get 75 percent of Brazil’s national minimum wage.

Guimaraes began the program back in 2009. She began training prisoners in drawing and designing, as well as in high-quality knitting.

The Daily Mail reported that the designer turned to the prison when she had trouble finding knitters for her Doiselles label, which specializes in beautiful knitting and crochet work.

“She trained 18 prisoners sentenced for crimes ranging from robbery to murder, and their work is now exported globally, including to America, France, and Japan.

“The hand-made pieces, which are strictly quality-checked, are also sold in 70 stores in Brazil.”

The program is called the Flor de Lotus (‘Lotus Flower’) Project and the Daily Mail says the initiative is a chance for prisoners to earn money while serving their time.

According to the International Business Insider, Celio Tavares, a former inmate jailed for armed robbery said:

“The program gives inmates skills and confidence they can use when they return to life on the outside. This raises the self-esteem of the prisoners, and opens the door to work and employment for everyone else.”

What do you think of the fashion designer, Raquel Guimarae, who has trained inmates to knit in exchange for time served?

[Image via Shutterstock/Sarah Marchant]

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