This year, 40,000 people will leave California State Prisons and return to their communities Of some 36,000 state inmates released in the most recent years, for which state data is available, 46% were convicted of crimes again within three years. The Actors’ Gang believes incarceration should carry with it the responsibility of rehabilitation.
If we were a representative of a pharmaceutical company and we were to say that we have discovered a drug that reduces recidivism and in-prison violence by large percentages, that drug would be on a fast track for approval and millions of dollars would be allocated out of the State budget for its use in prisons. Well, we have that drug. It’s the arts – they can achieve these effects and a lot less expensively.
Through the work done in The Actors’ Gang Prison Project, they provide rehabilitative arts programs on 14 yards in 12 prisons across California, in two reentry facilities for men and women and in one juvenile facility, working with incarcerated children to help them avoid the pipeline to prison.