Mission: To provide exceptional arts programming in order to build resiliency and wellness among formerly incarcerated youth, reduce youth recidivism, and transform the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles County.
About the Organization: Founded in 2015 as a project of Community Partners, the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network is an interdisciplinary collaborative that envisions a future where youth are empowered and the systems that serve them are transformed by the arts. Organizations in the network are focused on investing in youth well-being; believe that the arts are uniquely positioned to bolster and create pathways for youth success; and view collaboration as an effective strategy for systemic, cultural, and political change. The network's focus areas include arts education, collaboration, advocacy, and probation training.
Current Programs: In the area of arts education, AIYN works with Los Angeles County Probation and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission to integrate the arts into detention facilities in ten juvenile detention sites across the county, while the network's collaboration efforts include the promotion of arts programming in helping youth recover from trauma, build identity, and develop skills needed to successfully reenter society. AIYN's advocacy efforts include working with youth to reimagine, redesign, and reclaim Solitary Housing/Specialized Handling Units, and it provides training for probation field deputies and juvenile court probation staff using the arts to advance cultural sensitivity. In partnership with the Children's Defense Fund, AIYN also is developing a toolkit and technical assistance fund that will support an expansion of its programming model to CDF Freedom Schools in detention facilities across the United States.
Funding: The Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network is funded by individuals, foundations, and government grants.