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Arts in Corrections resources

This page has links to stories and research findings that provide useful information for anyone involved in using the arts as a tool supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Clean Break's Theory of Change report

18 December 2017
Clean Break Theatre Company has recently published Theory of Change, which aims to demonstrate a clear link between its activities and the impact of its work with women. Its work takes place in women’s prisons, theatres, community settings and in its London studios. It was developed over several years through a process of workshops and discussion with staff, and feedback from women who participate in the programme. For more

San Francisco’s One Family programme

25 August 2017
Sarah West Carson, experienced mental health practitioner in law enforcement and reform from San Francisco, presented at the 2017 bi-annual International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents (INCCIP) Conference in Rotorua. She spoke about the One Family programme she designed. Watch the video

Care of children with incarcerated parents

25 August 2017
Expert perspectives were shared between two PhD students, Alana and Tess, and the audience about the care of children of prisoners in Victoria, Australia and around the world at the 2017 bi-annual International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents (INCCIP) Conference in Rotorua.

Alana shared research about a study on care for children and imprisoned mothers suffering from mental illness. Tess shared research on the experiences of primary care fathers and the conflict for father/prisoner and child as they struggle to connect because of the strict limitations and visits. Listen to the video 

Role of support workers

19 April 2017
As part of Sound Connections’ "Taking Off" research, the Irene Taylor Trust in the UK was commissioned to explore the role of the support worker when delivering music projects with young people in challenging circumstances. This action research details approaches to the role through interviews with professionals in the field and young people with direct experience of the Irene Taylor Trust’s Making Tracks music project. Read the research

Arts in probation and reintegration in the UK

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. Here, she discussed examples of how innovative through-the-gates theatre and multi-arts projects can contribute to reintegration.Read more about Dr Selina Busby

Arts in Corrections: a report on project outcomes

27 September 2016
"Doing this workshop helped me push myself. I feel a lot more confident to do things like this workshop,” wrote one of the participants in the Looking Glass Prison Theatre Project, held in the Drug Treatment Unit of Arohata Prison in March 2016. Jacqui Moyes, Arts in Corrections Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa facilitated and co-ordinated this project, along with Creativity in Corrections forums in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. You can download her report on the project outcomes.

PDF icon  Arts in Corrections: a report on project outcomes

Research on women and re-offending

30 March 2016
Understanding what drives the cycle of compulsive behaviour when they re-offend is one of the things women in prison want from a rehabilitation programme, says a report called  Women's Experiences of Reoffending and Rehabilitation. The research report was written by Marianne Bevan, Research Advisor, Department of Corrections, and Nan Wehipeihana , independent research consultant.Read more

UK research on value of art in Corrections

30 March 2016
“Re-offending rates in the UK remain extremely high and it’s time to look at alternatives,” writes Sara Lee, Artistic Director of London's Music in Prisons, in a 25-page report on her Winston Memorial Trust travel fellowship to explore the role of music in resettlement and crime prevention.Read more.

Research on performing arts in Australian prisons

27 November 2015
Performing arts have become a growing worldwide presence in prisons over the past 30 years, attracting academic and media attention, says a summary report on research conducted by Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. The report, Captive Audiences: the impact of performing arts programs in Australian prisons, discusses the myriad forms of performing arts projects in Australian prisons and points to the lack of research documenting these projects. Read more

Impact of Holyoake's DRUMBEAT Programme

25 April 2015
DRUMBEAT (Discovering Relationships Using Music – Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes and Thoughts) is an evidence-based intervention developed by the Holyoake Institute to improve mental, social and emotional wellbeing in high-risk populations. This report discusses the research on the DRUMBEAT programmes in seven Western Australian prisons: for example, Bunbury Prison, a maximum security prison for men, 183km from Perth. Read more

Evaluating creative writing programme

26 November 2014
An independent evaluation of a creative writing programme delivered in 28 UK prisons demonstrated that creative writing and other arts opportunities positive experiences, improved literacy and employability skills. More than 250 prisoners took part in the Write to be Heard creative writing workshops, with 82% of them saying that the workshops made them think differently about themselves. The project also included a national creative writing competition that attracted 265 entries.  Read more about the key findings and to download the full report

Prison art exhibition guidelines

14 August 2014
Thinking about putting together an exhibition of prison art? Preparing for an exhibition can come with a variety of challenges but also great rewards. Exhibitions are an opportunities to engage with the local community and acknowledge the hard work and talent that can produce a good piece of art. They can also be a way to fundraise for appropriate and relevant charities.
For more information and guidelines about putting on an exhibition, readArt Exhibition Guidelines prepared by Arts Access Aotearoa and the Department of Corrections. You can also contact Jacqui Moyes - Prison Arts Advisor (T: +64 4 802 4349 E:




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