Art knows no bounds in prison-inspired exhibit

RJ Donovan Correctional Facility Warden Daniel Paramo, second from left, took part in a panel discussion on Arts in Corrections.

RJ Donovan Correctional Facility Warden Daniel Paramo, second from left, took part in a panel discussion on Arts in Corrections.

Richard J. Donovan CF warden talks about Arts in Corrections program

By Robert Brown, Community Resources Manager
Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Warden Daniel Paramo, of Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF), participated in a panel discussion titled, Art Transports Us Out of Bounds, an exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

Art pieces were displayed in a setting the size of a prison cell.

Art pieces were displayed in a setting the size of a prison cell.

The panel included Laurie Brooks, executive director of the William James Association; Kathleen Mitchell, Project Paint instructor; and Larry Sauls, a formerly incarcerated participant of another Arts in Corrections program.

Laura Pecenco, director of Project Paint, moderated the discussion which included over 90 museum patrons and covered a broad range of topics including the benefits of Arts in Corrections within CDCR.

Sauls spoke to the importance of Arts in Corrections providing inmates with positive programming and how these types of programs break down racial and cultural stereotypes.

Mr. Sauls credited Arts and Corrections with helping prepare him for a successful transition back into society.

Art Transports Us Out of Bounds was recently featured in an article in the Huffington Post titled, “How A Prison Program Is Promoting Self-Reflection In Incarcerated Men.”

Art Transports Us Out of Bounds was a culmination of an eight-month session of the Arts in Corrections program Project Paint at RJDCF.

The curators of the exhibit built their display the exact dimensions of a cell at RJDCF. The goal was for the patrons to feel first-hand the small space of the cell, with the juxtaposition of lining the space with the art created by the inmate participants.

Warden Paramo discussed the importance of these types of programs and the correlation between providing these programs and the reduction of violence in facilities. The Warden further discussed the need for the community’s continued support for this type of programming.

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3 Responses

  1. Larry Sauls Wednesday, June 7, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    What a wonderful gathering it was. My hopes is that arts in corrections will make its way back into CDCR. It is truly a benefit to the mindset of those coming back to society. I am a living witness.

  2. sunni.harley@cdcr.ca.gov Friday, September 18, 2015 / 9:19 am

    I totally agree with Warden Paramo whom discussed the importance of these types of programs and the correlation between providing these programs and the reduction of violence in facilities. I volunteered to teach poetry at CSP-Sacramento and sat on the judges’ panel for the inmate talent shows. Yes, the need for the community’s continued support for this type of programming is essential.

  3. Estela Acosta Wednesday, September 2, 2015 / 8:58 am

    Providing a “creative outlet” for the incarcerated population … great mission, Robert.

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