Using art as a tool for rehabilitation inside prison has been around for decades with the practice’s popularity fluctuating, depending on the decade. The British Pathé YouTube channel features three short newsreels highlighting art shows at San Quentin State Prison in the early 1960s. The British Pathé YouTube channel features three short newsreels highlighting art shows at San Quentin State Prison in the early 1960s. Newsreels typically played before the movies started, much like today’s previews.
On June 9, California Medical Facility held the first graduation ceremonies for the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program. There were two ceremonies. The first featured 29 participants who completed the 90-day Criminal Thinking and Anger Management components. The second included 32 participants completing the 150-day Substance Use Disorder Treatment program.
The “Get on the Bus” program, which focuses on bringing children and their guardians/caregivers throughout California to visit their mothers and fathers in prison, found 240 participating at the Correctional Training Facility.
Warden M. Eliot Spearman recently presented Lassen Family Services with a donation of $3,828.30. This donation is from the High Desert State Prison (HDSP) Charitable Fund, which is generated from offender fundraising activities throughout the year.
The California Arts Council (CAC) has awarded new contracts to 12 arts organizations providing rehabilitative services to California inmates through Arts in Corrections (AIC). Through a partnership of CAC and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), arts programming now reaches all 35 state adult correctional institutions – a significant increase from the 20 institutions served by the program in the previous fiscal year.
More than 160 inmates from the Sierra Conservation Center banded together to provide an Olympic-style event to the community in which they reside. Calipatria, inmates held a fundraiser and donated over $12,000 to Special Olympics. Kern Valley State Prison donated $13,500 from food sales. Meanwhile, CTF, SVSP, DVI and other institutions carried the torch.
On June 7, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison held a commencement ceremony for the inmate students of the Chuckawalla Valley Adult School. Graduates’ families, staff and instructors attended the ceremony to show support. Palo Verde College and representatives from universities were also in attendance.
A CDCR-produced 2009 video highlights the first graduating class of the Offender Mentor Certification Program at California State Prison, Solano. The video also documents a visit from actor Martin Sheen.
Olympic athlete Jose Ramirez, an Avenal native and current resident of the small town, is an inspiration to those looking to make something of their lives. He recently paid a visit to Avenal State Prison to see the work of inmate artists.
CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations work with parolees to prep them for the 2017 Fair Chance Hiring Fair at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College.