By

“Creative Rehabilitation: the story behind the arts in California’s prison system,” written by Erin Harrington, was an encouraging look at the art programs offered in the prison systems that help women express themselves and stay out of jail. It looked at such programs as the Arts in Corrections Program, the Inside Out Writing and Art Project and UC Santa Cruz’s Women’s Center. However, one program that you should be aware of is GEMMA, a non-profit program for women after incarceration. GEMMA offers a place for these women to stay while they get reunited with their family and find means to support themselves. In order to get a spot in the home, they go through a nine-week program where women get to choose from classes ranging from nutrition, interviewing skills, writing, and art. These programs allow an environment where the women can come to terms with their difficulties, learn from them, and figure out how to move on with their lives. All of the programs are run by volunteers in the Santa Cruz community.

*Carrie Sowni*