SBB | Kentucky


Shakespeare Behind Bars was founded on the belief that all human beings are inherently good, and that although some convicted criminals have committed heinous crimes against other human beings, this inherent goodness still lives deep within them and must be called forth. Participation in the SBB program can effectively change our world for the better by influencing one inmate at a time, awakening him or her to the power and the passion of the goodness that lives within all of us.

Through the healing power of the arts, Shakespeare Behind Bars offers participants the ability to hope and the courage to act despite their fear and the odds against them.




By immersing participants in the nine-month process of producing a Shakespeare play, Shakespeare Behind Bars uses the healing power of the arts, transforming inmate offenders from who they were when they committed their crimes, to who they are in the present moment, to who they wish to become.


Through a partnership with VSA Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Education, the Journeymen is a program for 18-21 year-olds incarcerated in the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Inmates explore the goals and values of the SBB program as a member of a positive, supportive community.





Shakespeare Behind Bars believes it is imperative to create transformational programs that provide incarcerated and at risk youth with the tools they need to work towards a future outside correctional institutions and thereby reduce the rate of youth who will commit crimes that could lead to their spending their adult lives behind bars. SBB juvenile programs employ the same vision, mission, values, and techniques that have proven successful in our adult prison programs.

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