(Camden City, NJ) – A mural commissioned by the Camden County Youth Services Commission (CCYSC) and the Department of Corrections has been completed on the outside perimeter wall of the Camden County Correctional Facility. The design was chosen from a county-wide contest which invited local artists to enter submissions for the project. The mural reflects themes such as hope, support, peace, and community, among others, and their intersection with both the juvenile and adult criminal justice system.
“The conversation surrounding criminal justice is rightly changing, and the focus is shifting toward making sure that when individuals leave these facilities, they leave hopeful,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young. “This mural is a reminder to our community that the Correctional Facility is not a place of despair. This is a place where people receive support, they find peace, and they are prepared to reenter the community for the next phase of their life, where we ultimately hope they will successful.”
The County began accepting design submissions on July 29 from members of the community. A county-wide vote chose five finalists on Aug. 28, and the winning submission was selected by a committee of community stakeholders.
“I’m proud that our facility gets to house this inspiring peace about hope and community,” said Warden Karen Taylor of the Camden County Correctional Facility. “If you are a relative of one of someone in our population, or you are a member of the community passing by the building, I want this mural to be a signal about our mission. The old way of doing things is over. We are striving to rehabilitate, and to create opportunity for men and women preparing to return to their community.”
The mural is now visible on the perimeter wall of the correctional facility along Federal Street.
The project is part of the County’s participation in the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, a national initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. More information, as well as news, research, and events related to the Safety and Justice Challenge, is available at http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org.