Given an opportunity, inmates can, and will, step forward on their own and make significant changes in their lives.Brian Fischer, Commissioner,
NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
OVER 95% OF ALL PRISONERS ARE RELEASED AT SOME POINT
RTA believes in the profoundly rehabilitative effect that engaging in the arts has on men and women behind bars. Through creative expression in theatre, dance, voice, writing and visual art, prisoners learn social and cognitive skills that act as a springboard to education, family reconciliation and ultimately, successful re-integration into community life.
Who are the people incarcerated in New York State’s prisons?*
- 33% read at 8th grade level or below
- 82.6% have a substance abuse problem
- 54.4% are convicted of nonviolent offenses
- 52% are first time felony offenders
RTA provides the public with a glimpse of the humanity, talent and intelligence behind prison walls. Since 1996, thousands of outside community guests have watched riveting theatrical and dance performances. A yearly art exhibit in Sing Sing allows artists in RTA’s visual art class to proudly display and discuss their work with outside guests.
*Sources: New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services and Correctional Association of New York.