Inmates make toys for kids

By: Staff Report
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A new project launched in the Placer County minimum-security barracks is giving Santa a helping hand when it comes to toy-making.

Many jail staff members contributed to the Christmas toy-making operation, which was headed up by Corrections Sgt. Rebecca Lyke and C.O. Felix Sanchez. Two inmates, Bari Johnson and Scott Flores, were picked by Sanchez to create the 300-plus patrol cars, ducks and boats, because they’re serving long-term sentences due to AB 109, and because of their skills: Johnson is a talented woodworker and Flores wanted to help because he has kids at home and it made him feel good to help other children. Female inmates also contributed to the project by helping with painting and quality control.

Materials for the toys were either donated, were surplus, or were purchased by jail staff with their own money. They will be distributed to local children through Toys for Tots, CPS, the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center, the Children’s Receiving Home and to patrol deputies.

“This was a success and hopefully it’s the first of many projects,” Sanchez said. Sgt. Lyke agreed. “We’re hoping to expand our vocational programs and this was a great start.”