SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- Also speaking at the Open Access event was Michael Mendoza, who was formerly incarcerated and is now a Political Science student at San Francisco State University. He discussed the ways art helped him reframe his own narrative while he was incarcerated at age 15 for a total of 17 years.
“Within our institutions, there are not a lot of rehabilitative programs that we have access to, especially in the higher-level maximum security prison programs,” Mendoza said. “So you take up little hobbies of your own. … For me it was art, it was expressing my anger and expressing whatever emotions my situation was causing me to deal with. For a lot of years, I was able to build on my imaginations of who I wanted to be as a person.”