A program specifically designed for 18-21 year-old inmates incarcerated in the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
The Journeymen program embraces the mission, vision, and values of Shakespeare Behind Bars.
The Journeymen program brings self-selected 18-21 year-old inmates together with an SBB facilitator, a group of senior mentors (alumni of the SBB program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex), and, when available, junior mentors (alumni of the Journeymen program) to work together in a sequential series of workshops over an agreed upon period of time unique to the hosting correctional institution. The program culminates in a final sharing with a potential audience composed of Kentucky Department of Corrections officials, prison staff, prison inmates, and invited guests from the inmate participant’s KY DOC approved visitors list.
Each participant completing the program is presented with a Certificate of Completion, a Journeymen logo t-shirt, and a graduation photograph.
Past Journeymen Program participants have exhibited improved:
- comprehension, literacy (reading, writing, and oral communication), and critical thinking skills;
- self-esteem and positive self-image;
- social and communication skills;
- decision making, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills;
- empathy, compassion, and trust;
- responsibility as a member of a group;
- responsibility in daily life and for crime/s committed;
- tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict skills;
- ability to relate the themes contained in Shakespeare’s works to themselves and society.
In 2012, SBB Artistic Director Matt Wallace assisted by three SBB senior mentors worked with seven 18-21 year-old inmates. As a culmination of their work, the ensemble shared exercises, monologues, and choral readings with an audience of staff and education inmates in the chapel.
In 2013, SBB Founder Curt L. Tofteland assisted by four SBB senior mentors and four junior mentors worked with six 18-21 year-old inmates. As a culmination of their work, the ensemble shared monologues and a spoken word poem written by a senior mentor for an audience of staff and education inmates in the chapel.
Financial support of the Journeymen program is provided by VSA Kentucky, the state organization on arts and disability, and the Kentucky Department of Education.