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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Art by prisoners program provides therapy for SA inmates

Date posted: 1 June 2012

An art program has proved a source of therapy for some inmates in South Australian (SA) prisons.

The Art by prisoners program has resulted in 32 pieces of art, including Indigenous artwork, being put on show at the Adelaide Festival Centre. The program was run in seven correctional facilities in SA, and provided inmates with a therapeutic form of self-expression.

Art by prisoners is based on a UK program, and is being studied in SA as a research project by Flinders Law School PhD student, Jeremy Ryder. He aims to look at the positive impact of art within and beyond jail time. Mr Ryder said accompanying notes from the artists showed the value of this expression.

'One note says "it helps me take my mind off the more negative aspects of prison. It allows me to experience a small sense of achievement",' Mr Ryder said.

Leading Adelaide forensic psychologist, Dr Jack White, said such programs had the potential to change the lives of prisoners for the better.

Source: adelaidenow


Jeremy Ryder
Postgraduate research student
Flinders University
Ph: (08) 8201 3706


Last updated: 1 June 2012
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