Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - Page 12 News List

What you may not know about your local prison

Taiwan’s corrections system is reinventing itself as a hotbed for the arts

By Enru Lin  /  Staff reporter

As its latest experiment, the Agency of Corrections is reshaping the arts program to allow prisoners to interact with the public.

In 2011 and last year, the agency held public art exhibitions featuring works from prisoners in Taiwan and China.

The agency has also been adding performance arts courses to the catalog — classes like taiko drumming and choral singing. Earlier this month, a newly formed men’s chorus, starring the top-ranked singers at 13 prisons across Taiwan, put on their first public concert at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

“Logistically this was very difficult. We needed hundreds of security guards and roll calls on the bus and off the bus,” says Kao.

“But it was good for the prisoners. I also think it was touching for the audience. Some were family members who didn’t know their relative could sing.”

For more information about prisoner-made goods, visit www.shop.moj.gov.tw.

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