Story by Lt. James Herrera, AA/Public Information Officer
Photos by Lt. Richard Montes
California Rehabilitation Center
Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins of the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) recently hosted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Attorney General Holder’s Oct. 24 visit was focused on the Actors’ Gang Project.
The Actors’ Gang is a form of theater characterized by masked actors, a technique tracing its roots back to 16th century Italy.
The acting workshops teach inmates to gain control of their emotions, develop self-esteem and prepare themselves for re-entry into society, according to those with the project.
The workshops are conducted by The Actors’ Gang, a professional theater company. The primary goal of the program is to reduce recidivism by learning to control their emotional impulses, group organizers said.
Actor Tim Robbins started the Actors’ Gang prison project with actress and presenter Sabra Williams four years ago at CRC. Since its inception, the two have lobbied for support to expand the program.
Attorney General Holder approached Tim Robbins 18 months ago to get more information about the project.
Eric Holder, Jr., is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and has been in office since 2009.
He and his team watched intently while 17 inmates performed in face paint. After a 90-minute show, Mr. Holder conducted a roundtable discussion with the inmates about the purpose and goal of rehabilitative programs such as the Actors’ Gang.
“I believe this is an incredible program and I will do what I can to promote positive programming in prisons such as this nationwide,” he said.