Partners Unlimited
"My whole attitude changed!"

The Results

PDF Icon  Click here to download ART CAR Project Process Evaluation Report 2006-2007


  • 86% of high school dropouts have been labeled with learning disabilities
  • The highest incarceration rate are high school dropouts
  • Institutions partners Unlimited contacts indicate a very high level of "creative" residents
  • Learning through the arts engages all students through all learning styles—visual, auditory, experiential, and tactile
  • Studies show, just having one visual arts class in a school increases SAT scores as much as 36%
  • The arts motivate students to stay in school


  • Increase self worth
  • Improved health and attitudes
  • Improved academics
  • Improved social skills
  • Decreased substance abuse
  • Respect for others
  • Improved family relationships
  • Stronger sense of community
  • Overall sense of accomplishment, belief in self and trust
  • Motivation to live a productive life

Use of Funds

Cost Per Service Provided

Benefits of Arts in Correction Facilities

  • 30% of higher rate of favorable outcome
  • 75-81% improved behavior in inmates
  • 168% of cost to benefit derived

Brewster Report

The leading model is the California’s Arts in Corrections (AIC) Program. AIC offers inmates creative opportunities to develop soft and hard skills. There was a seven-year study of the AIC Program, which demonstrated that such programming provides inmates positive incentives to monitor their behavior and to focus on positive life outcomes. This results in reduced disciplinary actions, development of skills that can be transferred to their daily lives post release, and a reduction in recidivism rates.

In working with 4-correctional facilities, the state was able to save over a quarter of a million dollars in measurable benefits through providing arts in corrections programs. They found these programs to be the highest level of treatment and reduction of recidivism of any other program they had tried.

Pilot project: HeARTand Collaborations

Pilot Project: Fort Dodge Correctional Complex, Iowa
Correctional Institution for Women, Youth Directions & Fort Des Moines Release Center
Summary Prepared by Dr. Rachel Williams, University of Iowa, October 23, 2000

Preliminary evidence, found in collected LSI-R scores and disciplinary records, points to a reduced risk of recidivism, improved LSI-R scores, reduced disciplinary problems, improved cognitive skills, fostering a positive institutional attitude, improved self-worth, and physical, and mental health among participants who have consistently taken part in the HeARTland Collaboration’s Programs.


METANOIA [partners Unlimited] is a program that is very much needed to provide creative outlets for inmates, which can utilize information from Arts In Corrections (AIC) — California Dept. of Corrections, as a model of best practices. However, unlike AIC, METANOIA does not have similar funding streams, which is mainly a state-supported program. The impact potential is just as great. Residents discussed in their journals the positive impact that METANOIA has had on their personal development.

Staff agreed that such a program allowed them to develop better communication with residents and that a certain level of trust has been gained. By hosting a performance that is open to invited guests, residents provide a face and human qualities to the way "outsiders" view them.

"The project is of deep value not only to the women/men who participate …perhaps even greater value to their families and the communities they will rejoin. - Lolya Lipchitz, Iowa Peace Institute It was fabulous – I don’t think words can describe the many feelings I had as I watched and listened to the women. I can only imagine what it must be like to work through the entire process and watch the evolution that we saw in the performance.
- Becky Swift, Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy

"My self-confidence was zero. I learned discipline, focus, and perseverance, how to set goals with my limitations in mind, but not give into them."
- ICIW Resident

Monica Cameron Child & Family Policy Center