Using an unusual technique, a Philippine prison is trying to rehabilitate its inmates by turning them into wannabe Versaces. Al Jazeera reports from Manila’s maximum security prison, where noted fashion designer Puey Quinones visits once a week to teach the prisoners, some serving life sentences for crimes like murder and kidnapping, to sew, bead, and hand paint textiles. The idea was conceived in order to exercise inmates’ imagination and keep them occupied, but has since evolved into quite a successful give and take. Prisoners are paid for their work, but love working with Quinones for the simple fact that they get to express their creativity and have something of a link to the outside world. For Quinones, about 90% of the handiwork on his clothing is now done by inmates – designs which have appeared on celebrities, in magazines, and on billboards.

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