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NCJ Number: 58181 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CELL BLOCK THEATER
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:11  Issue:6  Dated:(DECEMBER 1976)  Pages:13-14,16-17
Author(s): C M YOUNG
Corporate Author: Correctional Information Service, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Correctional Information Service, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CELL BLOCK THEATER, A REHABILITATION PROGRAM IN NEW YORK CITY, IS THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTICLE WHICH DESCRIBES HOW ACTING TRAINING CAN BE USED AS REHABILITATION THERAPY.
Abstract: CELL BLOCK THEATER BEGAN IN MARCH 1972 WITH A $24,000 GRANT FROM THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION. IT IS CURRENTLY FUNDED THROUGH THE COMPREHENSIVE EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ACT, A FEDERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTERED THROUGH THE CITY, THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT ON THE ARTS, THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION AND THE HELENA RUBENSTEIN FOUNDTION WITH SMALLER GRANTS FROM INDUSTRY. ITS STUDENTS ARE PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL PASTS WHO ARE IN PRISON OR HAVE BEEN RECENTLY RELEASED. THE GOAL IS NOT TO CREATE ACTORS, BUT TO TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS NECESSARY FOR FINDING AND KEEPING JOBS. THE 17-WEEK CLASSES FOR EX-OFFENDERS ARE SET UP TO RESEMBLE AND ROUTINE OF REGULAR EMPLOYMENT AND TO INSTILL HABITS OF PUNCTUALITY AND DILIGENCE. PARTICIPANTS ARE PAID A WEEKLY STIPEND OF $80.50 FOR 40 HOURS OF WORK AND ARE DOCKED FOR LATENESS WITHOUT A LEGITIMATE EXCUSE. CLASSES CONSIST OF STAGECRAFT AND DESIGN, IMPROVISATIONAL ACTING, SPEECH, WRITING, DANCE, VIDEOTAPE, AND FINALLY THE PRODUCTION OF A PLAY. GRADUATES ARE PLACED IN JOBS OR RETURN TO THE SCHOOL. THERE ARE ALSO PROGRAMS FOR INMATES AT THREE INSTITUTIONS IN NEW JERSEY AND TWO IN NEW YORK. FOR ACCEPTANCE IN CELL BLOCK THEATER, PERSONS MUST BE RECENTLY OUT OF PRISON, AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD, FREE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, IN NEED OF HELP AND WILLING TO COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE PROGRAM'S REQUIREMENTS. MOST REFERRALS ARE THROUGH PAROLE OFFICERS AND FRIENDS. THE PROGRAM IS SMALL SO THE SELECTION PROCESS IS HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE, AND POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS ARE INTERVIEWED IN DEPTH BY THE STAFF OF SEVEN ADMINISTRATORS AND EIGHT OF THE 109 TEACHERS. EX-OFFENDERS WHO HAVE ENROLLED, 71 HAVE GRADUATED. CELL BLOCK THEATER AN EXTRAORDINARILY LOW RECIDIVISM RATE OF ABOUT 7 PERCENT AND HAS BEEN PRAISED AS A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUE IN REHABILITATION. PHOTOGRAPHS ACCOMPANY THE ARTICLE. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Ex-offender employment; Ex-offenders; Group therapy; Rehabilitation; Self-help therapy
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=58181

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