Prison art around Australia

How art programs are helping prisoners unlock their creative skills and work towards a more successful rehabilitation.

Australia currently has around 40,000 adults in custody across the country; of those, 93% are male and 7% female. Of the many programs available to prisoners, those in the creative arts are credited with having a positive impact on rehabilitation and post-release outcomes.

Producing art has been shown to have therapeutic benefits and helps to build resilience in a difficult environment. It is known to be restorative during incarceration and provides an opportunity for positive engagement between prisoners, and between prisoners and staff. And, at the very least, making art is a positive way to relieve boredom which is always an issue for prison populations.

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Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.