Hospital Gives Newborns Handmade Blankets -- Made by Prisoners!

Say What!? 326

One Indiana hospital is hoping to make the experience parents have with a newborn a little bit more personal by offering crocheted baby blankets instead of the traditional striped, cotton blankets that so many babies are swaddled with after their arrival. And in addition to the blankets, they're even distributing handmade hats, booties, and scarves to keep the newborns all warm and snugly. Aww -- isn't that adorable and sweet?

The gesture sounds innocent enough when you first hear about it, but when you find out who is actually making these cozy items, the whole idea becomes kinda creepy. Think about it for a second -- sitting around and knitting all of those baby pieces sure takes a lot of time. And there are certain people in this world who literally have nothing but "time" on their hands. So -- who exactly is creating the blankets?

Prison inmates.

Yup, the blankets donated to this maternity ward are made by none other than inmates from a nearby prison. Inmates! As in, convicted criminals, who may even be in jail serving life sentences.

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How cute and sweet do those blankets sound now? The idea of wrapping your perfect little bundle of joy in something that was created by a criminal is incredibly creepy. Newborn babies are the epitome of innocence, so the fact that they are being given something that was touched by prison inmates really kind of contradicts the whole birth experience.

I can't help but wonder whether the hospital discloses where the items came from before presenting them to parents. Because they definitely have a right to know. Some may be more willing to accept them regardless of who was behind the crocheting, but odds are good that plenty of parents won't exactly warm up to the idea of accepting something from a prisoner. And I'm sure that many moms and dads would be upset if they weren't notified about the origination of the blankets before swaddling their darling babies in them.

Having programs for prisoners where they engage in activities to give something back to the community is all well and good. But somehow newborn hospital wings just don't seem like the best fit for their efforts.

Would you allow your baby to use a blanket or other item that had been made by a criminal?


Image via Saké Puppets/Flickr




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4cadi... 4cadillac

I would. I don't see how it would cause a problem.

hanna... hannahsmom238

I don't see a problem. It's not like they're coming to visit and hold the babies. I think it's great they're learning a skill and giving back to the community.

Deweymom Deweymom

Seriously? People would be against this? I'm not catholic but I accepted a baby hat knitted by a nun. Do. Not. Care.

mande... manderspanders

Mary Fischer: you're crazy.  You find fault with EVERYTHING. 

Just because a criminal made a baby blanket doesn't mean it is contaminated with criminal "cooties" that will turn the child into a criminal too.

Get over yourself. 

nonmember avatar Christina

Are you serious right now? I would accept it I don't see what the big deal is, they are doing something nice and giving back to the community. Why pick that apart?

bxmom... bxmom2580

who cares if inmates made the items, they are doing something productive for the community and I dont see anything wrong with that

nonmember avatar Samantha Stewar

When I see that an article's been written by Mary I wish I could filter her from my feed, it just blows!!

EvaSa... EvaSamuel

I think it's nice.  It might give prisoners the chance to reflect on when they were young and innocent and go back to a time before all the decisions that caused their incarceration.  It might also give them a chance to think about their own children and be more compassionate and connected parents.  Also, having something handmade is wonderful; my daughter has a favorite knitted blanket made by someone we hardly know and I just hope that person knows how much joy that blanket has brought our little sweetie!

nonmember avatar q

Oh GET OVER yourself! Most prisoners are non-violent offenders sentenced to two years or less, that means you're working with, being waited on by and walking past these scary, creepy people every day! If you're that freaked out, move to MaryLand. BTW, Who do you think makes the ugly striped ones bought in bulk from cheap sweatshops & factories in Malaysia or Taiwan? Hmmmmmmmm........

berge... bergencounty

"We're trying to institute a way for these men to give back to the community, a way for them to think of people beyond themselves," Bonham said. The goal is for the inmates "to think of people in the community they've never even met and show some compassion and care."

All of the yarn was donated through the assistance of Sister Dorothy Rasche of Connecting Link in West Terre Haute.

The crocheted items will benefit newborn babies in the hospital's Maternal and Child Services Department, said Kim Perkins, Union's director of marketing and public relations.

And some of the larger hats will benefit patients in other departments, such as the Hux Cancer Center.

Joanne Goldbort, Union's director of maternal and child services, said the crocheted items "will be a benefit to our babies. We have families that don't have anything, so we can at least wrap our babies with warmth" before they go home.

Jennifer Harrah, nursing care manager/NICU nursery and pediatrics, said the crocheted items add a personal touch.

"I think it helps take away the hospital feel with the standard hospital blankets and hats. You get something handmade and it kind of can personalize a baby's bedside a little bit more," she said.

 Sister Dorothy Rasche sounds like a wonderful woman who saw a need and fulfilled it.

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