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Maximum-Security Prison Inmates Reveal What Theater Program Taught Them About Redemption - Inside Editon

By Johanna Li

March 9, 2018

Sitting in the auditorium in the Green Haven Correctional Facility, you wouldn’t know you’re in a maximum-security prison. That is, until more than 200 men clad in state-issued green boiler suits, enter in a single-file line while flanked by corrections officers.

The men take their seats with only a faint rustling of chitchat as the stoic guards station themselves in the aisles, watching closely.

They are understandably antsy; 75 outsiders, each having endured strict security searches, are visiting the prison. Guests greet each other before settling in designated chairs across the aisle from the prisoners.

These two different audiences have come together to watch the same play, written and directed by 20 inmates in the Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) program.

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