Inmates create, repair toys and bikes for children in need

CLAYTON (BCN) — Toys and bicycles made or repaired by Contra Costa County jail inmates were selected for donations to children-serving agencies at a workshop held at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility in Clayton today.

At the jail this morning, workers from various county agencies selected from more than 400 handcrafted toys and 170 bicycles refurbished by inmates and will distribute them as holiday gifts to local children in need.

According to Contra Costa County Office of Education spokesman Jonathan Lance, a small group of Marsh Creek Detention Facility inmates have been working on the project primarily during the past two months.

The annual event has occurred for the past 24 years, Lance said. The county’s education and sheriff’s offices sponsor it.

Each year, inmates who are enrolled at the county’s adult school work under teachers’ guidance to repair used bicycles and make wooden toys such as doll houses, toy cars, tractors, train sets and games, Lance said.

The jail’s workshop toys are then distributed to workers from Bay Area Rescue Mission, Brighter Beginnings and many other organizations.

The inmates are among the 2,343 from the county’s jails who were enrolled in adult school classes this year.

The classes range from academic programs, including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs, including woodshop, construction and computer training, county officials said.

Toys on table

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