The Actors‘ Gang Prison Project started in 2006 in response to Caifornia’s huge recidivism rate and excessive overcrowding.
In the last thirty years California has built one University, and an astonishing twenty-two Prisons. California has one of the highest recidivism rate within the first three years of inmate release, yet in 2008 the State cut all funding to all Arts in Corrections programs in spite of evidence of the huge impact Arts in Corrections can have.
The Actors’ Gang conducts weekly and seven-day intensive programs inside the California prison system, a weekly re-entry program in the community, as well as a program in juvenile facilities, and soon to be a program designed for correctional officers. Our work endeavors to unlock human potential in the interest of effective rehabilitation. The Prison Project fosters tolerance and nonviolent expression while significantly reducing in-prison violence, increasing self-esteem and tolerance, and reducing recidivism.
In California, six out of ten people will return to prison within three years of release. More than 90% of people currently housed in California prisons will eventually be back in our communities. Many of these men and women lack the vital skills to help them succeed on the outside. The Actors’ Gang Prison Project is working to change that.
Our classes help students develop emotional and social skills that aid in a positive return to society. For more than 24 weeks each year we teach a racially integrated group of students who form lasting bonds as they undertake personal transformation together.
“This class really gives the tools to change. Myself, I’ve been wanting to change for a while and a lot of guys in here want to change, but we don’t have the tools. It’s like we are standing on the ground waiting to find a way to get on the roof and then here you guys come with a ladder . “