CDCR, California Arts Council partner to bring rehabilitative arts programs to state prisons

Sacramento, California - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Arts Council are seeking artists to work for a rehabilitative arts program opening at prisons statewide.

The Arts in Corrections programs will offer an array of performing, literary and visual arts disciplines, such as theater, music, creative writing, poetry, painting, drawing and sculpture.

“Research has shown that structured arts programs improve inmates’ problem-solving skills and self-discipline and increase their patience and their ability to work with others,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “These programs also direct inmates’ energy in a positive direction, promote positive social interaction and lower tension levels, resulting in a safer environment for inmates and staff.”

CDCR has a long history of providing arts programs, as institutions and community organizations have partnered to offer visual and performing arts programs to inmates. CDCR has committed $1 million funding to add structured, contracted Arts-in-Corrections programs in select state prisons. CDCR is also committed to a second year of support for fiscal year 2014-15. The funds will be administered by the California Arts Council. Use of funds is subject to review by state control agencies.

“This investment will help inmates develop skills that may help them get jobs when they are released, which would help reduce recidivism and victimization,” Beard added.

“The California Arts Council commends Secretary Beard on this investment. Arts engagement is a valuable rehabilitation method that can provide positive change for inmates and for communities across our state,” said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The Arts Council looks forward to partnering with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and to working with arts organizations on the development of these new Arts-in-Corrections programs.”

Interested arts organizations will be considered through an open Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Proposals must be received by Tuesday, May 27, 2014. CDCR and the Arts Council will conduct webinar for interested parties on Thursday, May 15, at 3 pm.

For more information on providing services, contact Mary Beth Barber at the California Arts Council at (916) 322-6588. To review the RFP process, visit www.arts.ca.gov

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