Lorton Art Program
Since inception, Lorton Art Program,(LAP) an award winning nonprofit organization provides learning and rehabilitative activities in the visual arts to incarcerated male and female offenders of the Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections facilities, and has successfully demonstrated that training and exposure to the visual arts can improve the learning skills and self-esteem of prison residents.
The Program is designed to give its participants opportunities for skill development, artistic expression, art appreciation, the development of self-respect and reconnection to the community through art exhibitions and community events. Through arts projects, problem-solving and decision- making skills, along with development of patience are emphasised.
Art classes are offered in five specific units: The Women’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Unit, The Mental Health for Men Unit, the Psychiatric Unit for Women Unit, and the recently opened Healthcare Mental Health Step Down Unit (SDU) for Men.
The mission of the new SDU Unit is to enable their patients who will soon be released to realize their full potential through programs that support re-entry into community.
LAP program is year-long, with rolling admission. Classes are offered four days/week (one-two units per day) with sessions lasting 2 to 4 hours each.
The Program continues its outreach activities including exhibitions & work with former students (and their families) who are integrated into society and wish to continue to develop their artistic skill. LAP works to provide them with art supplies, support & exhibit opportunities.