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Art Programs for Prisoners

By Mary Plummer / scpr.org  Image courtesy npr.org

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will announce Friday it plans to spend $1 million to restore arts programing for prisoners.

The funding will bring back the Arts in Corrections program, the demise of which KPCC reported on in January, along with makeshift programs that have popped up to try to fill in some of the gaps.

Despite studies showing inmates released from prison were less likely to return if they had participated in the state’s arts classes, the program was eliminated in 2010. It had been a staple in state prisons for 30 years.

“These are skills that inmate artists can take out into the community when they get out,” said Krissi Khokhobashvili, a spokesperson for the state corrections department. She said the goal is to give inmates job skills so they don’t end up back in prison.

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