The Actors‘ Gang Prison Project started in 2006 in response to California’s huge recidivism rate and excessive overcrowding.

Prison Project

The Actors’ Gang Prison Project is a nationally recognized rehabilitation program currently running in 13 California state prisons, 2 Reentry facilities and Los Angeles County Probation camps and halls for youth. Our program starts as a 7-day, 4-hours a day intensive theatrical arts program which transitions into an ongoing weekly peer-led class, managed by the program director and overseen by The Actors’ Gang teaching artists. Using a highly physical and emotional style of theater as a tool, the program creates a supportive space in which the participants can express their fears, choose empathy over anger, overcome gang barriers, and most importantly, prepare for life beyond bars.

To date more than 1000 incarcerated people have participated in The Prison Project.

FACTS:

Impact Justice reports an 89% decrease in disciplinary incidents, known as 115’s, for participants who have completed our program.

According to CDCR preliminary analysis, people who have completed our program have a 10.6% recidivism rate.

Reentry Project

In 2016, after working inside California state prison for almost a decade, we recognized the need for the rehabilitation process to continue beyond one’s sentence end date. In partnership with HealthRIGHT 360, we created The Actors’ Gang Reentry Project, aiming to provide a space for participants who are transitioning from prison to their community to continue to be a part of the program. Based on the success of the pilot program for men, in Los Angles, we expanded the partnership HealthRIGHT 360 to include a woman’s facilities, the Female Offender Treatment and Education Program, in El Monte.

FACTS:

A new study shows77% Employment Rate for The Actors’ Gang Reentry Program participants.

Youth Project

In 2016, we joined the rallying voices of young people by responding to the school-to-prison pipeline. The Actors’ Gang Youth Project works to provide exceptional direct arts programming for youth in the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system. We see the difference our program can make in their lives of young people, and have joined the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network (AIYN) to streamline our model and further our reach by empowering young people, creating pathways for youth success, and catalyzing systematic change. In partnership with AIYN, we seek to integrate arts as an effective sentencing alternative, a critical intervention to address trauma for youth who are experiencing  incarceration, and a foundational strategy for successful reentry.

FACTS:

California Department of Education reports that LAUSD spends $13,452 per student each year.

Los Angeles County Probation spends $233,000 to incarcerate one youth per year.

Alumni Advocacy Project

In 2018, we created a new program, The Actors’ Gang Alumni Advocacy Project, for participants who were now returning home. This network serves as a support system and platform for individuals, who want to continue training with the company and become a Teaching Artist. We envision the formerly justice-involved participants as the leaders of The Actors’ Gang Prison Project and focus on providing an avenue for upward mobility with meaningful employment as an Alumni Teaching Artist, with thirteen Alumni working with the program and the hope that his number will keep growing. All of our former participants are encouraged to advocate, not only on behalf of The Prison Project but also for the Arts, Arts in Corrections, Rehabilitation and within the Criminal Justice Reform movement.

FACTS:

California Department of Education reports that LAUSD spends $13,452 per student each year.

Los Angeles County Probation spends $233,000 to incarcerate one youth per year.

“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 . “

Class Participant

Contact The Prison Project

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