Inmates from Santee’s Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility are sewing mourning bands for fallen police officers, deputies and federal agents across the country.
Mourning bands are the black strips of cloth worn over the badges of deputies and officers’ uniforms in memory of those killed in the line of duty.
There were 140 U.S. law enforcement fatalities in 2016, with California second highest in number of deaths, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Female inmates in the Sheriff’s Sewing Program sew 3,000 mourning bands a month, which are sent to “HONORBANDS,” a nonprofit group that personalizes the bands and sends them to law enforcement agencies across the country.
The Sheriff’s Sewing Program allows inmates to learn sewing, communication and social skills to help them gain employment after serving their time.
They receive a Certificate of Completion from Grossmont Adult School, which details the skills they developed through the program.