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Arts in Corrections international links

This page has links to international organisations, blogs and articles about Arts in Corrections projects and programmes.

UK: Michael Crowley, writer

Michael Crowley, writer and youth justice worker, is convinced about the value of creative writing as a tool supporting rehabilitation. His handbook, Behind The Lines, is the product of his work with offenders and people at risk, in prison and in the community. It is based on his extensive experience of using creative writing to change and improve thinking and behaviour, and to prevent crime. Read more and visit his website

US: Shakespeare Behind Bars

The Shakespeare Behind Bars programme works with incarcerated, post-incarcerated and at-risk communities, supporting participants to develop life skills for their successful integration into society. Read more about its founder Curt Tofteland  and visit its website 

Germany: Uta Plate, theatre director

Uta Plate lives in Germany where she studied Cultural education. In 1996, Uta founded the 'theatre in prison' project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice in a juvenile prison in Thuringia. Since then Uta has been involved in many theatre projects and workshops involving youth in detention, imprisoned people as well as asylum-seekers. Read more about Uta Plate and the theatre workshop at Arohata Prison

US: Rehabilitation Through the Arts

This artistic community uses the arts as a tool to support the emotional, social and cognitive skills that prisoners need for successful reintegration into the community. Read more 

US: Prison Arts Coalition

The Prison Arts Coalition was set up in 2008 to serve as an independent space and national network. It provides information, resources and partnership opportunities in the American Arts in Corrections sector. Read more

UK: Clean Break theatre company

Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. Still the only women’s theatre company of its kind, Clean Break provides theatre-base education and training programmes. Read more

UK: Irene Taylor Trust

Founded in 1995, the Irene Taylor Trust in London aims to “deliver innovative music projects enhancing the rehabilitation and education of prisoners and in doing so enable their reintegration into the community”. Read more

UK: Inside Stories a BBC Sunday Feature

Irish writer, television director and teacher Carlo Gebler has spent nearly three decades in the Northern Ireland prison system, teaching creative writing to prisoners. As many of the prisoners Carlo has worked with in their cells would testify, he's spent a long time inside. On the BBC Sunday Feature, he talks about the role of arts and education in rehabilitation and whether his work made any lasting difference to those he taught. Listen to Inside Stories

UK: arts as a springboard for positive change

30 April 2018
The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance in the UK aims is to ensure the arts are used within the criminal justice system as a springboard for positive change. Dora Dixon, its Communications and Membership Officer, blogs that arts organisations have worked quietly behind prison walls for decades but recent government endorsement and high-profile partnerships are helping them gain some recognition. Read more

UK: a challenging but manageable journey

26 February 2018
UK’s Geese Theatre Company facilitates workshops and staff training in prisons, secure mental health settings and in other criminal justice and social welfare contexts. A five-day theatre project with male prisoners at risk of self-harm or suicide focusses on connecting with  others, letting go of negative beliefs, goal-setting and developing new skills. Read the article 

UK: why there should be more art in prisons

26 February 2018
“So, if this has worked so well for us, then why aren’t we able to do more of it?” asked a man in a Scottish prison after a successful week-long drama residency culminating in a performance. Jess Thorpe, a lecturer in the Arts in Justice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, writes about the value of the arts as a rehabilitative and healing tool. Read the article

UK: how to: running arts projects in prisons

26 February 2018
Running arts projects in prisons is some of the most rewarding and powerful work Dan Boyden, Director of The Change Collective in the UK, does. “It’s transformative for them and for me, but it’s not easy, and starting out in the sector can be daunting.” Dan offers some tips for artists and arts practitioners on how to start out. Read more 

UK: arts in probation and reintegration 

19 April 2017
Dr Selina Busby, Principal Lecturer in Community Performance and Applied Theatre at the University of London, works in prison settings and with young people in the UK and internationally. On 4 April, she spoke at a meeting of the Arts in Corrections Northern Region Network, organised by the Critical Research Unit in Applied Theatre at the University of Auckland and by Arts Access Aotearoa. Read more about Dr Selina Busby




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