NORML's E-Bay Auctions Featuring Prisoner Art

A Worthy Cause, and a great team-up idea: NORML and Prisons Foundation, with an auction at eBay.

NORML Foundation is proud to partner with Prisons Foundation, the nation's leading non-profit organization working with incarcerated persons seeking artistic expression and rehabilitation through visual arts, to present Prisoner Artwork for Auction.

Located two blocks from the White House and open seven days a week, the Prisons Foundation Art Gallery has hundreds of quality and moving pieces of artwork created by the hands of citizens currently incarcerated in US prisons--many of them for 'drug' related offenses including cannabis.

For those who can't visit the Prison Foundation's Art Gallery located at 1600 K St., NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC, the NORML/Prison Foundation's
weekly online art auctions provide citizens the opportunity to view and bid on prisoner-created works of art, with a large portion of the proceeds going to the prisoner-artist for living expenses while incarcerated.

Check it out.

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    Living expenses while incarcerated (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Freewill on Sat May 05, 2007 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    At just a glance most people would perceive this to mean that the individual is paying to stay in prison. That's not entirely true. Some might take it as this being a way for an incarcerated individual to purchase commissary items, food and clothing. Again, this is not entirely true.

    Unbeknown to the general public as a whole, there are individuals who are incarcerated that still try to be an active participant within their families. Incarcerated Mothers are still Mothers, Fathers are still Fathers. The term Felon is so extremely negative in the general public's imagination that for the most part when someone mentions Felon in a sentence the public conjures up images of vicious murderers in their minds.

    At the prison that I work, after years of red tape we finally recommissioned an Art Program for the inmates. This program is a privilege and only those who stay out of trouble, follow the guidelines set by the Art Program and demonstrate that their Art actually sells are given the tools, supplies and materials necessary to participate. When an art piece sells part of the proceeds go to purchasing more supplies for all the program participants, and part goes to the artist themselves.

    Programs like this and many others offered in my state's prison system are great incentives to the prisoners. The prisoners gain a sense of self-worth that in many cases they have never experienced in their lives. Many prisoners support their families at home; Christmas gifts to their children, spouse or other family members, help buy school clothes, help pay living expenses to their spouse, and numerous other ways in which these individuals are being productive to societies views.

    The sad thing is society's deeply ingrained perception of prison and felons in general usually mean that any type of positive initiatives coming from inside of a prison are usually quickly diminished by the same public as being only a ploy by felons to recruit sympathy for themselves. This, in many cases is simply not true! It's sad that once a negative title is bestowed upon an individual, we as society continue to ware our rose colored glasses and believe in the status quo.

    Jeralyn, thank you for the stories that you post on the Crime Policy topic. There are very few voices out there that truly understands how our American way of Justice is a broken system that prevents individuals from performing to their best abilities or even given a chance to succeed in life. I, by no means, am soft on crime or those who commit crimes but I believe in helping to give the power to individuals to be a productive member of society.

    Our system is trying but the general public's perception is the negative factor that will always keep it from achieving its full potential.