Pine Grove YCC youth offenders nurtured their creative side thanks to the local arts council.

Pine Grove YCC youth offenders nurtured their creative side thanks to the local arts council.

Story and photos by Deborah Brady, Youth Correctional Counselor
Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp

Promoting rehabilitation through art was the goal of a recent Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) visit by two arts group members.

Christie Lane and Nan Muzinich, from the Amador Arts Council, paid a special visit to camp to provide art classes to the youth offenders at the camp.

The group also provides volunteers to teach art classes in every elementary school in the county. They visit the camp about every three months.

The artists taught the youth offenders how to create drawings using pastels. Nine young men attended the workshop and drew butterflies, faces, abstracts, hearts and sports emblems.

“Arts programs are about more than having a good time. They provide a safe, supportive environment that encourages offenders to use their creativity in a positive way. By providing an outlet for positive self-expression, arts programs also contribute to safer institutions and helps offenders develop important skills like nonviolent communication, teamwork and patience,” said Mike Roots, Superintendent for PGYCC.

Two offenders work on art projects at Pine Grove YCC.

Two offenders work on art projects at Pine Grove YCC.