The mission of California Lawyers for the Arts is to empower the creative community by providing education, representation, and dispute resolution.
Our vision is that artists and arts organizations serve as agents of democratic involvement, innovation, and positive social change, and the growth of an empowered arts sector is essential to healthy communities.
California Lawyers for the Arts leadership and services strengthen the arts for the benefit of communities throughout California. California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) became involved in advocacy to restore California’s stellar Arts in Corrections programs in 2011.
In addition to having the nation’s largest state prison population, California also claimed one of the highest recidivism rates in the country at nearly 70%. CLA worked actively with local partners to conduct a collaborative demonstration project in several state prisons that involved pre- and post- incarceration surveys of the students.
Based on the evidence gathered at that time, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was persuaded to provide the California Arts Council with a $2.5 million contract in 2014 for a two-year pilot project providing arts programs in up to 19 state prisons.
The initiative brings a new level of awareness and appreciation for the value of effective arts programming in correctional facilities.
Photos of California state prison inmates, both male and female, engaged in making art—including visual, performance, and literary forms.Learn More