Few art programs for incarcerated juveniles exist; however evaluation results indicate decreased recidivism and behavior problems. This paper reports on a preliminary study of an art program for incarcerated adolescents with community exhibits and sale of their work. Voices from Inside, a partnership between Franklin University and the Ohio Department of Youth Services, sponsored three exhibits in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2013, youth exhibitor survey results (response rate 47%, 16 of 34) showed that 81% cited as benefits cooperation with others, task completion, and increased self-esteem from public recognition and art sales. Community attendee survey results (response rate 29.5%, 59 of 200) showed positive attitude changes toward juvenile offenders, from 40% to 53%. Qualitative responses were similarly positive. Results indicate the need for further study of juvenile offenders’ art for rehabilitation and restorative justice, the power of art to transform, and university-community partnerships implementing art programs for juvenile offenders.
Key words: arts program, art therapy, art-based rehabilitation, incarcerated youth, juvenile justice, restorative justice, transformational justice