Inmates reveal artistic talents

23:33, Sep 25 2013
Inmate art
This artwork created by a prisoner at Otago Corrections Facility will be auctioned in New Brighton during a community fundraiser.

Art is helping southern prisoners to rehabilitate.

Three inmates from the Otago Corrections Facility and another 90 from the Christchurch men's and women's prisons have designed artworks to be auctioned for a community fundraiser.

The prisoners have created 210 artworks including water colours, oils, woodwork carvings and sculptures.

The Prison Art Auction is a community fundraiser for the Youth Alive Trust - a trust which works with hundreds of young people every week providing activities through after-school clubs, holiday and school programmes and camps.

Corrections southern regional commissioner Ian Bourke said art in prison was a positive and effective rehabilitation tool.

"The art programme helps connect prisoners to learning in a positive and non-threatening way and offers them a new way to communicate," he said.

Several prisoners renewed their enjoyment of art or discovered a talent or interest they did not know they had, which helped with their rehabilitation, Mr Bourke said.

It also supported a Corrections goal of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

The Prison Art Auction will be held at Youth Alive in New Brighton, Christchurch, on October 18.


The Southland Times