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Portraits of Purpose: Image of Human Perseverance During Their Incarceration

May 26, 2016

On Thursday, May 26th 2016, artist Camilo Cruz unveiled a series of portraits of incarcerated women inside Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) in Lynwood to invited guests. The exhibition was part of "Portraits of Purpose" (POP), a collaborative arts workshop designed by Mr. Cruz in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Education Based Incarceration Unit (EBI). The event featured a discussion with the POP participants about the workshop, which included a former EBI inmate Reon Jordan. Ms. Jordan shared her experience as a participant in the workshop and the positive impact EBI has made in her life. During the event, a question and answer session was conducted with the invited guests. Some of the invited guests included, District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Assistant Sheriff Kelly Harrington, members of the City Attorney's Office and members of the art community. Each attendee received a special book of the imagery and writings which were produced during the workshop.

The goal of POP is to collaborate and stimulate the artistic side within each person participating in the EBI program. The POP program guides inmates currently enrolled in the program, in producing creations of environmental portraits which bring attention to the values held sacred in the soul of "criminals."

These values include family, spirituality, cognition, endurance, and strength. Mr. Cruz felt by working with the inmates and allowing themselves to be photographed, it would reinforce the notion that these values, and other sacred ones, would be critical in defining the women's success upon returning to the community once released.

The Educational Based Incarceration Unit provides programs that assist all incarcerated men and women reach their full potential through education, empowerment, self-esteem, creativity and self-respect in order to make them better parents, spouses and productive citizens in their communities. Educating and providing life skills to the incarcerated population will enable them to enhance and develop their quality of life and become architects of their future by presenting opportunities for spiritual, educational, and economic transformation.

A majority of the educational programs that are provided to our inmates are funded with the assistance of the Inmate Welfare Commission (IWC). The IWC serves at the appointment of Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

For further information Contact:

Deputy Crystal Ponce

Custody Assistant Michele Chavira

Inmate Services Bureau

Education Based Incarceration Unit

(323) 568-4722

EBI FB Page: EBI Twitter: @EBILasd #EBI

Contact Information: Education Based Incarceration Unit - 323-526-5380,
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