Episode Information

Art as Rehabilitation
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
03/07/2008
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In this episode:

Are the arts an effective method of rehabilitation?

 

Episode Audio

51:59 minutes (24.95 MB)
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Joe Lea, Library Media Specialist at York Correctional Institution and Adjunct Professor at CCSU: Photo by Chion WolfJoe Lea, Library Media Specialist at York CI and Adjunct Professor at CCSU: Photo by Chion Wolf

 

A new study by the Pew Public Safety Performance Project says that - for the first time - one in 100 american adults is in jail or prison. It's a shocking number, especially because historically, those coming out of prison have a much harder time adjusting to life, finding a job, and making a difference. So, aside from talk about building more prison space - what are we doing to solve this problem?

Many experts who work in women's corrections especially - see the value in arts based rehabilitation programs. Robin Cullen, formerly incarcerated at York, now works as a MADD Victim Impact Panel Coordinator: Photo by Chion WolfRobin Cullen, formerly incarcerated at York, now works as a MADD Victim Impact Panel Coordinator: Photo by Chion Wolf


Today, where we live, we're going to talk about a symposium being held this weekend at Trinity College about the success of arts programs - mostly in Women's prisons. York correctional institution has been a leader in the field - withAndrew Clark, Director of the Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice at CCSU: Photo by Chion WolfAndrew Clark, Director of the Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice at CCSU: Photo by Chion Wolf

writer Wally Lamb's acclaimed writers group winning awards for their books - and performance artist Judy Dworin collaborating with inmates on a multi-media presentation.

We'll talk about why these programs work - and how they can be applied to the much larger, and fast growing, male prison population.

 

To see pictures of Where We Live's in-studio guests, please go to our Flickr page.

 

 

 


 
Where We Live 10/06 - Judy Dworin "Time In" Episode

50:42 minutes (24.34 MB)
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for show on Art as Rehabilitation

I suggest including material from a piece on this subject written by Spoon Jackson, currently serving his 30th year on a Life Without Possibility of Parole sentence. This op/ed piece was published in the San Francisco Chronicle. You have permission to quote from the piece (which was published, and I have Spoon's permission to give his okay).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/07/14/EDGSEJUNE...

Making art is a human birthright. I'm sure everyone listening to your program wants their own child to have the opportunity (and to be given the skills) to create -- to share their vision, experiences, perceptions and thoughts through paintbrush, guitar, dancing body, or words. I have heard many men and women in prison say versions of the following: "If someone had ever given me a pen as a kid, if someone had ever asked me to express what I was feeling on paper, who knows if I would have ended up here?" Such questions are not sentimental or simplistic: the process of making art requires one to go deep into oneself, to observe accurately, to report honestly, to be responsible and focused.

I was asked to say a few words about my work in his field: I taught poetry at San Quentin through California's Arts in Corrections program in the 1980s and wrote a memoir about that experience, "Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin." I also created Arts in Corrections' quarterly journal and wrote their Manual for Artists Working in Prison. I've been invited to many states to share with people in prison and at conferences on prison and prison arts. I remain close to many of my former students, including Spoon, all of whom are serving various kinds of Life sentences.