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Statement of Purpose



We need to address the trauma leading to incarceration as well as trauma caused by incarceration in order for individuals in the criminal justice system to have real opportunities for successful rehabilitation and re entry. America spends $80 billion a year incarcerating over 2 million people. 2 The incarceration of a family member reduces the entire families quality of life, having a wide ranging impact on communities. 3


Incarceration is a social justice issue." The rise in incarceration transformed not only the criminal justice system, but also U.S. race relations and the institutional landscape of urban poverty," 4

Reducing recidivism saves money, and saves lives. Therapeutic writing can help people process and cope with the trauma of incarceration and reintegrate into their communities in healthy and productive ways. Within professional behavioral health services, the need to address trauma, and to integrate trauma informed care within all levels of service provision, is increasingly being recognized. 5


Prison Writes seeks to encourage clients to become active participants in the therapeutic process. Engaging in the creative process has been shown to be uniquely effective for clients of all demographic categories, giving them renewed sense of energy and hope and alleviating stress. This in turn allows clients to redirect their attention to positive growth. 6

3 Donald Braman, Doing Time on the Outside, Incarceration and Family Life in Urban America, 
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2007
4 Incarceration nation, Monitor on Psychology, October 2014, Vol. 45, No. 9 Print version: page
56, American Psychological Association
6 Cathy A. Malchiodi, Expressive Therapies, Guilford Publications, Copyright 2005

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