Prisoners craft to help people in Joplin cool down

A JCCC prisoners sews together a cooling pillow. / DOC

Tornado victims and relief workers in Joplin are cooling down and relieving stress with some help from Missouri prisoners.

State inmates have more than 1,500 cooling ties, which are cloth items filled with beads that can be chilled and used by people working outside.

Chris Cline at the Missouri Department of Corrections told KRCG prisoners at Algoa and the Jefferson City Correctional Center were a big part of the effort.

The inmates also made nearly 500 special stress-relieving pillows, more than 450 quilts and blankets, and numerous other items for Joplin residents.

State Corrections Director George Lombardi said the effort not only helps those in Joplin, but also allows convicted criminals to show compassion for others.

The effort is part of the department TMs Restorative Justice Program, which teaches inmates to give back to communities and victims.