By the time Luis J. Rodriguez was twelve years old, he was already a veteran gangbanger in East Los Angeles. Drugs, shootings, beatings, and street crimes scarred his young life. At 18, he was hooked on heroine and had been in jail nearly a dozen times. But thanks to the support and care of several mentors in his life, Rodriguez left what he called, “La Vida Loca” and turned his life around. He says he wasn’t scared straight. He was cared straight. For decades, the Chicano poet laureate, activist, and author has been a mentor to many. This time to men behind bars at California State Prison, Los Angeles County in Lancaster. Radio Bilingue’s Tena Rubio reports from Lancaster.
This program, known as Arts in Corrections, is part of an effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Arts Council and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Its purpose is to rehabilitate prisoners and help them prepare for reintegration into their families and communities.
Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr
For more information about Arts in Corrections visit this page
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