ART FOR JUSTICE
PRISONER ART FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
P.O. Box 526 | Harleysville, PA 19438
© 2019 ARTFORJUSTICE.ORG
Our Road Map for Life Workshop©
An innovative, bold Program that helps youth learn to make choices that will lead to success.
Youth Served: Workshops are offered to young people who have been adjudicated delinquent, have involvement with the Department of Human Services, a parent in prison, or live neighborhoods where crime and incarceration are prevalent.
Workshop Description: Road Map for Life Workshops are a series of ten sessions that help youth identify their strengths, understand the legal consequences of high risk behaviors, and learn to make choices that lead to constructive lifestyles. The Workshops combine a life skills program that targets improved social cognitive skills with an art program that personalizes and intensifies the learning. Each session identifies and challenges belief systems that lead to destructive behaviors and explores choices that build on individual strengths and lead to constructive behaviors.
Objectives: Learning outcomes for participants include:
• Improve self awareness and social cognitive skills
• Identify personal strengths and strategies to build competencies
• Identify responsibilities to family, friends and community
• Improve communication and decision making skills
• Establish and engage in learning and educational goals
• Establish and engage in employment goals
• Reduce harmful and criminal behaviors
Workshop Process: The Road Map for Life Workshops present the art and statements of Charles Lawson, a prisoner whose experiences serve as an instructive, cautionary tale for the youth. In each session the students discuss the critical issues reflected in the art and stories – issues which many of them face in their day to day lives. The youth then complete an artistic response (visual, poetic, or narrative) that personalizes and intensifies the learning. The Road Map Workbook includes the narratives, illustrations, concepts and skills for each session and the students’ own work.
Workshop Evaluation: The Program Director reviews and evaluates the youths’ responses on three criteria: participation in the dialogue, active listening, and completion of their response forms. Ten of the Workshops have included comprehensive evaluations of the youths’ work. 85% of the 125 youth who completed the Workshops demonstrate a high level of engagement and participation in the program.
Final Exhibit: During the final session of the Workshops the artworks used in the Workshop and the work of the youth are highlighted at an exhibit at Youth Center. The students are recognized at this time for their accomplishments in the program and receive their Workbooks. The final Presentation is an opportunity for those who participate in the Workshop to share their ideas and give their evaluation of the experience. One young man spoke during the Presentation saying that the Workshops provided “a life changing experience for me.”
The most recent presentation of Road Map Workshop took place at the Montgomery County Youth Detention Center from August 6 - 10, 2018.
Participant Quotes: Excerpts from some of the youth who have participated in the Workshops:
… I love this Program that is changing people’s lives because it tells the truth about life.
It teaches us to believe in ourselves and build on our inner strengths.
... this Workshop has been a life changing experience for me.
.... get a place or art store and let more kids do the Road Map.
... keep pushing the points and talk to everybody they can.
... keep going to placements like this to reach more kids.
… do this all over the world so other kids can learn what I’ve learned.
… if I get to 21, I want to participate in the Road Map for Life Workshops.
… my choice is to learn to deal with my anger.
… I made a decision to stay away from guns.
… I am motivated to try again to make it when I go home.
The Road Map for Life Workshop has been supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and donations from Montgomery County businesses and individuals.
Art for Justice - Shows the humanity behind bars. Brings awareness to systemic flaws in the criminal justice system. Seeks solutions to eliminate injustice.
* Artworks are either privately owned or have been donated to Art for Justice.
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