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THE NEED

According to the Washington Post 2.2 million people are incarcerated on any given
day but up to 13.5 million adults “pass through” the system of jails and prisons each
year. This program aims to reduce this number by providing an engaging, empowering
activity that explores potential solutions and creates more mindful citizens who are less likely to reoffend.

THE INTERVENTION

Voices Unbarred creates a safe community for our participants to be a part of, allowing them to talk about tough issues and experiences and find potential solutions for the future. Our program humanizes participants by giving them the ability to write and perform their own stories. Exploring potential solutions to real-life issues and empowering participants to take action all leads to a reduction in overall recidivism rates after release. This program will also reach legislators, who need to hear from the individuals that prison reform laws
affect most, by inviting them to the community performances of the participants' work.

OUTCOMES

Participants will be able to:

  • examine the systems around incarceration in order to critique its structures.

  • practice self-disclosure in a group of their peers.

  • develop life skills, including confidence, communication, problem solving, listening, and conflict management.

  • work effectively with others towards a shared goal.

  • practice accountability to themselves and to each other.

  • see value in their experience.

  • see themselves as an empowered change agent. ​

  • Continue working with Voices Unbarred upon release.