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Congressman Ted Lieu

Representing the 33rd District of California

CONGRESSMAN LIEU & TIM ROBBINS TO TAKE PART IN WHITE HOUSE EVENT ON ARTS, INNOVATION & PRISON REFORM

December 17, 2015
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) has issued the following statement in advance of today’s White House event: Arts & Innovation - Prison Reform & Reentry in the 21st Century.  The event will be a unique opportunity to discuss innovative ways to transform the prison experience, criminal justice system, and the reentry process through arts-based initiatives. The event will focus on implementing creative programs in prisons across the country that create meaningful experiences and reduce rates of recidivism.  The event will feature actor, director and advocate Tim Robbins, a tireless champion for the arts and prison reform. 

This past September, Congressman Lieu, along with 19 fellow House Democrats, sent a letter to the Bureau of Prisons encouraging that they expand arts education and engagement in their prisons.

“I am very excited to join with actor Tim Robbins and the Actors’ Gang to take part in the White House’s event on Arts & Innovation: Prison Reform & Reentry in the 21st Century.  America’s criminal justice system is at a critical juncture with over 2.2 million adults incarcerated in our prison system.  Arts education in prisons has a history of proven success. Data shows that arts education in prison can result in improved behavior among inmates, fewer disciplinary actions, cost savings, and reduced recidivism. Despite these impressive results, there are too few of these programs in our prison system.  I hope that as Congress looks at criminal justice reform, arts education will remain a fundamental part of the conversation.”

Mr. Tim Robbins, Founder of the Actors’ Gang and Academy Award honored actor and director, also made comment.

“We at the Actors’ Gang are grateful for Congressman Ted Lieu’s continued support and look forward to seeing him at our Arts and Innovation event at the White House. Ted has been to see our work at the California Institute for Women and understands firsthand the transformative effect the arts can have in rehabilitation. I look forward to working with Ted to expand the availability of arts programs in correctional institutions and also, importantly and preemptively, within the California public school system.”

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