Creating art while incarcerated in prison greatly builds the need for self-expression that is sorely missed for prisoners. Many believe that art satisfies an individuals need for creativity, self-expression, recognition and self-respect.

In 1977, a pilot project, called the William James Association Prison Arts Project was begun at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Ca as a vision from Eloise Smith to bring the magic and mystery of the art experience to incarcerated prisoners. From this vision the Arts-in-Corrections in conjunction with the California Department of Corrections was establish, only to be terminated in 2003, due to budget crisis.

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