Lincoln Parish inmates make specialty wood masterpieces

Local News

Whether its lumber the jail buys, or scraps that are donated. Inmates are creating beauty from nature’s very own. 

Oak, cypress and even pine are all used to create wooden masterpieces. For inmate John Cook, it began as a hobby with his grandfather as a boy.

 “I started out mowing yards for a few dollars back in the 70’s and the 80’s. Went from there, to repairs around the house and I guess you can say since I was seven years old.”

Inmates work 12 hour days with tools, passion and most importantly wood, but they don’t get paid.

“This goes into what’s called an inmate welfare fund. This is money that goes towards TVs’ microwave and trips to a relatives funeral,” Woodshop supervisor Tom Stinson indicated. 

For the guys in the shop, working there means more than making a dollar. 

“It taught me to hold to a good ethic, be content with what I have and not seek other things,” said Cook. 

Eddie Snipe has been a carpenter his whole life, but he says working in the woodshop and knowing god, changed his life.

“He’s showed me that there is a better way to go than the way that I was going. Without him I probably wouldn’t be out here working,” Snipe said.

Both Cook and Snipe agree the best part of it all is giving back. 

“When I see it going out the door, and when it comes back and the customers pleased,” Cook asserted. 

Officials over at Lincoln Parish Detention Center tell NBC 10 they are looking to get a carpenters certification program in partnership with Louisiana Delta Community College. They expect that the program will start in September.

Anyone wanting to make a donation or purchase can go to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for  more information. 

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