For the first time in more than a decade, all categories of crime rose across Los Angeles in 2015. This marks the second year in a row that violent crime has increased following years of steep decline. Compounding our crime problem is America’s “revolving door”, with seven out of every ten felons returning to prison within three years after their release.
In response to these dynamics, I created Portraits of Purpose (POP) as a collaborative arts workshop inside the Los Angeles County Jail. Specifically, through the Education Based Incarceration program, I work with male/female inmates in the creation of biographical portraits revealing his/her expressionistic response to the question, “What is my purpose as a human being?”