21:55, Wednesday, 02.12.2020
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Art-Therapy in the prison #5


Natia Gogolashvili

Human Rights Center is implementing rehabilitation program in the prison # 5 for female convicts, which aims to promote rehabilitation and resocialization of the prisoners in the penitentiary system of Georgia. The prisoners with disabilities are also involved in the art-therapy project. In accordance to the project, pottery work will assist the disabled prisoners to obtain labor and art skills; and cope with the stress caused by imprisonment. The course will last 4 months and two workshops are held per week.

In the beginning of the project, representatives of Human Rights Center met representatives of the Ministry of Corrections and female prison # 5; they presented the goals and activities of the project. HRC has experience of conducting similar art-therapy course in other penitentiary establishment.

The program beneficiaries were selected based on the recommendation of the prison administration. The health and social conditions of the prisoners, their behavior and interest in the art work were considered when selecting the program participants.
In the frame of the project, the pottery specialist will teach the beneficiaries the pottery work. Psychologists will assist the prisoners to overcome the stress caused by imprisonment.

Psychologist Meri Gelashvili said many female prisoners wished to get involved in the art-therapy program but the number of participants was already estimated and only 20 prisoners were selected.

“Similar projects have very good impact. Prisoners manage to overcome their internal tension. In prison, they are isolated. So, similar activities are very important for them. The accumulated aggression of the prisoners is spent during the art work. The main point is that they are creating something and create themselves too,” Meri Gelashvili said.

Pottery specialist Kakha Kemoklidze is teaching the pottery-work to the prisoners. One social workers and one psychologist of the prison also participate in the program. Throughout the project they will learn pottery work and after the project is over, they together with other prisoners, lead art-therapy courses for other prisoners.

During the program, the pottery specialist will identify those prisoners, who will demonstrate best skills in working with the clay and after the program is over they will teach other prisoners the pottery work. It is noteworthy that after the completion of the project, the prison will receive kiln for ceramics and the clay enough for one-year program.

The article was prepared in the frame of the project – “Monitoring Conditions of Juvenile and Female Prisoners in Georgian Penitentiary”, which is implemented by Human Rights Center with the Bulgarian Development Aid. The views in the article does not necessarily express the views of the donor and it is responsible for the content of the article. 

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