Art in Correctional Institutions


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Prisoner Looking Out This work was completed by an inmate of High Desert State Prison, where I worked for two weeks teaching painting and drawing with 24 Level 4 felons. Following intensive observation drawing and paint mixing introductions, inmates created works from their own experiences.  Many took the opportunity to play constructively; others such as Inmate Campos shared emotional insights about their incarceration. I also worked at Ironwood State Prison with a group of Level 3 felons.  Mostly serving life sentences, most of the inmates had never experienced visual art education. The painting class provided a respite from the routines of prison living, and new vista on capabilities.   Sal Hernandez Ironwood

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