What paper means in prison

"The vast majority of altered paper is harmless. Some officials tend to look the other way when toilet paper is crafted into chess pieces (using an age-old prison paper mâchè recipe of toilet paper and water: wetted, molded, dried and wetted again). But where a rook and a knight have an innocuous purpose, the same manipulation of toilet paper can be used to make a deadly knife, called a "shank," which, it is said, can disappear with a flush" — Katy Bolger for The Awl.
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