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Arts in Corrections program uses the power of the arts to inspire change in prison

Posted: 12:25 PM, May 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-15 19:25:31Z

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Arts in Corrections program (ACP) is using the power of the arts to inspire change and reduce re-incarceration rates throughout California prisons.

The program is a partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Arts Council designed to have a positive impact on the behavior and attitudes of inmates. ACP introduces inmates to courses where they can find new ways of expressing themselves through literacy, art and theatre.

Alex Gallardo has taught in the program for the last four years and says the program has helped him find his purpose through teaching his students art. Gallardo's students say the class gives them a new perspective and temporary escape from the harsh reality of incarceration.

The program was started in the late 1970s. ACP shut down in the early 2000s due to state budget challenges, however re-launched in the 2013-14 fiscal year.