Prison arts programs produce change that no audit can measure

Other results of these programs, such as the massive rise in empathy we’ve seen in individuals who participate in them, can’t be measured in numbers. We have witnessed how painting, music, writing and the dramatic arts can reveal to people who are incarcerated their inherent potential and awaken in them a sense of hope and purpose. We have seen rival gang members — mortal enemies — heal trauma and rediscover their common humanity working side by side in a prison arts program.