Do arts programs in prison lower recidivism rates?

May 2017

California is bringing the arts to prisons to give purpose to prisoners and help rehabilitate them. The stories of prisoners transformed by the arts are inspiring.

So far, however, little data exists on whether the programs are actually effective at lowering recidivism rates, Susan Turner, professor of criminology, law and society, told the New York Times. Turner is evaluating the state’s arts-in-prison initiative for the William James Association, which specializes in arts programs in nontraditional settings.

"Art resonates," Turner said. "People want to believe that the arts make a difference."

Read the New York Times story.

Read the PBS story.