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.
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.
A donation of new musical instruments will help Arts-in-Corrections rehabilitative efforts at California Rehabilitation Center.
Inmates at Avenal State Prison (ASP) are using a centuries-old artistic practice to express themselves, improve communication and foster self-esteem.
The push for rehabilitation is nothing new in CDCR. Around 1950, it was even the subject of a short documentary at San Quentin. CDCR cracks open this video time capsule to revisit the almost seven decades ago.