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Arts and criminal justice

Arts and Criminal Justice

The impact of the arts on rehabilitation

The arts are practiced within the criminal justice system in many different ways. They take place in education classes within the prison system, via innovative voluntary sector organisations and are self-practiced with extraordinary results.

Arts and creativity in criminal justice settings can support improved wellbeing, awaken an interest in learning and can help people build new positive identities. Engaging in the arts can also lead to new skills and employment opportunities, as well as equipping participants with a desire to actively engage in their community and culture.

Dance, music, theatre, visual art and creative writing provide essential opportunities for people in prison, those serving community sentences and their families.

Rediscover worth and potential

Reconnect with the outside world

Recover health and wellbeing


To find out more about the impact the arts can have on people in contact with the criminal justice system, visit our Evidence Library.

If you are looking for ways to demonstrate the impact of your arts project, please click here.

Image courtesy of Prisoners’ Education Trust (c) Rebecca Radmore