Today our students went to view an art exhibit put on by the Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy Program in Chicago. This program works to expose incarcerated youth to performing, visual, and literary arts and to encourage self-expression and further education.

To learn more about this program, visit the Free Write website:

Here are some of the reflection questions we discussed:

What thoughts came to mind as you looked at the art work knowing that your peers created the work?

What stigmas do incarcerated youth have to deal with? How do you feel about youth who have been incarcerated? Do you think it could happen to you?

How does inequality and justice play a role in the incarceration of your peers?

Why is viewing and listening to your peer’s art and stories important? Is it relevant?

Do you think an increase of literacy and education to incarcerated youth will help reduce recidivism? Why or why not?