8 percent of prisoners released in 2005 were rearrested within three unconventional drawing with children. 6 percent of freed prisoners were once again behind bars.
Even more surprising is that 56. 7 percent were already back in jail within a single year of their release. Why am I paying taxes just so the government can give prisoners more comfort? Another may believe that we need to be more humane in the treatment of such prisoners. This article won’t try to convince anyone to change their views on the penal system.
It simply aims to point out that every offender—whether a thief or a drug dealer, an abusive parent or a murderer—deserves even the smallest chance at redemption. Correctional facilities from various nations have offered that chance through unconventional ways of rehabilitating inmates. It is up to the inmates themselves to take that chance if they wish to change their ways for good. On October 2, 1992, Carandiru Prison in Sao Paulo, Brazil became the site of a gruesome massacre. The prison, housing twice the number of inmates it was intended for, saw a rivalry between gangs erupt into a full-blown brawl. The brawl turned into a riot, the riot into an uprising, and soon around 300 police officers raided the complex. The incident is forever etched in the ruins of the facility, which was demolished in 2002.
However, in the intermediary years, Carandiru was turned into a kind of factory for young rap bands. There were allegedly dozens of groups in the facility, two of which—The Rap Prisoners and 509-E—actually have record contracts. The groups, naturally accompanied by police, were allowed to appear on talk shows to promote their material, and they have even had some live performances. Of course, they had to be back in their cells by 10:00 PM. Nowadays, inmates no longer dwell in the recesses of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.
Its new occupants seem to be spirits and otherworldly beings. It became a tourist attraction for ghost hunters and thrill seekers. Inmates lived in complete solitude, and a small opening in the ceiling of their cell would slide open each night. Not everyone agreed with the practice of holding prisoners in forced isolation, however. The Putnamville Correctional Facility , a medium-security prison in Indiana, aimed to help in the rehabilitation of prisoners. With this in mind, they organized an event that’s similar to popular primetime US shows. 20 inmates performed in front of other prisoners.
Performances ranged from stand-up comedy to singing and even poetry. The co-creators of Project Redemption: Inmates Got Talent made the documentary while staying with the inmates and getting to know them for eight days. Facilitators were quite happy with the results, reporting that prisoners were thrilled to showcase their skills and talents and wanted to pursue careers in entertainment to have crime-free lives. Not into stand-up comedy or singing?
Choreographed dancing with hundreds and even thousands of prisoners swaying, swinging, and shaking their booties to the tune of the most popular music hits of past decades? Unfortunately, in 2010, after allegations of corruption and mismanagement of donations by the directors and facility heads, public release of these videos was put on hold, though the program still continued. The story of the CPDRC Dancing Inmates was so inspirational and downright hilarious that it led to a movie titled Dance of the Steelbars, with real actors dancing in prison garb. Painting is one of the best ways to provide a window to one’s soul. Vivid colors splashed on a canvas highlight the mood not only of the artist, but of the times as well. In San Quentin State Prison, the oldest and best-known correctional institution in California, discipline in the arts has led to discipline of the self, even among its most ruthless inmates.