The Harbour Gallery, now at commercial buildings, is set to host the 15th annual exhibition of Prisoners’ art and craft work, for the States of Jersey Prison Service (SoJPS). Money raised from the sale of prison art will go to local Rotary Clubs who have supported the prison in a number of projects in recent times. It opens tomorrow.
Prison Governor Susie Richardson shared her enthusiasm for this project and the opportunity to show the skills and talents of the individuals held in custody at La Moye. The prison is on a significant journey of modernisation, ensuring that investment and interventions are evidence based, and is keen to engage the public in the journey.
There is a wide evidence base to support the importance of arts in prisons in helping prisoners improve their resilience, develop new skills, confidence, expression, wellbeing, self-esteem and appreciation for the arts more widely and the way that this translates into being better citizens on release. The SoJPS has a team of teachers, one of whom is Lucy Blackmore, a qualified art teacher, who has worked for SoJPS for 15 years. She says “The enthusiasm and talent amongst our prisoners is considerable and continues to grow every year. The chance to showcase prisoner work is a motivating way of engaging prisoners in creative activity. This raises individual self-esteem and opens minds to engage in other educational opportunities, and behaviour management programmes: all geared towards helping prisoners to make life improving decisions.”
According to Sanja Koppen, Head of Education at States of Jersey Prison Service, arts-in-prison programmes have been associated with reducing reoffending rates. Extensive research in the field has found that art can ‘incite introspection and confrontation with one’s offending. This is specially the case with the nonverbal forms of artistic expression such as painting and music.’ The prisoners at SoJPS La Moye are producing between 80 to 100 items, from paintings, to drawings, ceramics and woodwork. The exhibition is a welcome opportunity for them to display work from the inside to the outside.
The exhibition will be opened by His Excellency, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE on 15th June and will be open to the public 7 days a week at the Harbour Gallery until 25th June.