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Art supplies are scattered inside the art room of a Texas prison
Illustration by Brian Hindson

This is my cluttered workstation in the hobby craft room, but I hate that name. I prefer to call it the art room.

To be part of the program, a person has to have completed a hobby craft class, received no incident reports during the previous six months, and be approved to do a special purchase order for supplies. If there is a surplus of eligible people wanting to participate in the program, a six-month rotation is available.

Our facility offers leather craft, crochet, painting and drawing classes. A special purchase order has a surcharge of 30% added to all items. It takes at least two months for them to be processed. Class supplies are provided at no cost to the inmate.

Every 90 days you need to have completed a project, typically to be sent out to a person on your visitation list or to a charitable organization.

Classes are taught by inmates with varying degrees of experience and expertise. Usually a person teaches a class in prison because they enjoy it, and not necessarily for the pay or potential perks.

My workstation is where I do most of my drawing and painting. I usually have a few pieces going at a time, using different materials. It’s my go-to place for recreation, unless I’m on a run. And even then I leave my bag there as I run; not one single item has ever come up missing.

The workstation is cluttered because I’m always doing something there, or at least that’s what I tell myself. I’m also the clerk, so that contributes too.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Brian Hindson is an artist whose favorite styles of work are impressionism and pop art. His work is published on the Justice Arts Coalition. Hindson is incarcerated in Texas.