The Prison Arts Resource Project (PARP) is an annotated bibliography of evidence-based studies evaluating the impact of arts programs in U.S. correctional settings. To our knowledge, this is the first database of its kind in the U.S. and fills an important gap in the type and quality of information available to artists, policy makers and arts administrators. Each of the 48 entries includes information on the arts program as well as the study research goals, methods and a summary of findings. Adult offender and juvenile offender programs are identified. While not an exhaustive list, these impact studies represent a publicly available evidence library that can be accessed by individuals and organizations seeking to develop their own impact studies or seeking evidence of impact for the purposes of program development and policy improvement.
The PARP was undertaken with an “Art Works: Research” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Office of Research & Analysis. This grant category is a new one and is intended to “support research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components within the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life.” The purpose of the project was to collect, in one place, available evidence-based data on the impact of correctional arts programs, both juvenile and adult.