Jail inmate crafted Christmas village model from commissary items, officers promptly confiscated it as contraband

An inmate at Butler County Jail crafted a Christmas village scene from everyday items in his cell and stuff purchased from the commissary, from soap to Skittles candy and paper bags. While the Sheriff's Office was so impressed at the handiwork that they posted an image of it on social media, they also determined that it was worthy of confiscation. Apparently the jail's policy on contraband includes acceptable items that have been transformed into something else. From the Journal-News:

[Butler County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Anthony] Dwyer said contraband like the Christmas village usually does not result in any type of discipline.

"If they are making things that could be considered dangerous or a weapon, those result in some type of infraction. Generally, with things like this they are just seized but there in no punitive action," Dwyer said[…]

In November 2020, a sheriff's office post of a wallet made of chip bags also shined a light on inmate creativity, but hinted at the very real issue for jail officials[…]

While most envision contraband as drugs, weapons and items that can be fashioned into weapons, inmates use other creative items, such as a chip bag wallet, to barter or for gambling. That causes problems in a facility of 900-plus people at least accused of breaking the law.

"For instance, they like to make necklaces, we actually sell a necklace in the commissary for religious purposes. But it breaks if you pull it. It can be used as a (strangulation tool) or a weapon in any way," said Dwyer in a Journal-News interview. "It also creates animus among other inmates that don't have it."

(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)