Gussak, D. (2004). Art therapy with prison inmates: A pilot study. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 31(4), 245-259.
Author Affiliations: Florida State University
Artforms: Art therapy, drawing, visual arts
Program Description: A four-week pilot program during which inmates met twice a week in group art therapy sessions.
Program (Study) Location: Medium to maximum security correctional institution, Florida
Study Published: 2004
Participant Type: Adult male inmates aged 21-63
Sample Size: 39
Data Type: Quantitative, case studies: Quasi-experimental, pre- and post-survey by mental-health counselors; standardized art therapy assessment using the Format Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS).
Evaluation Focus: Changes in inmate behavior and attitude including improvement in mood, socialization and problem-solving abilities; inmates’ interactions and compliance with prison rules and expectations
Summary of Impact: Improvements in attitude, mood, compliance with staff and rules and socialization skills were noted as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms. No improvement was indicated in problem-solving skills.
KEYWORDS: adult, art therapy, attitude, behavior, compliance, depression, drawing, mood, problem-solving, socialization, visual arts