A new mural painted by inmates at Rountree Jail Facility in southern Santa Cruz County was unveiled Friday.
The mural was designed by local muralist Arturo Thomae and created through the William James Association Prison Arts Project, which began in state prisons in 1977. The project is aimed at providing art instruction to incarcerated individuals.
The new mural at Rountree is 28-feet long and covers one wall inside the jail's dining hall. It features the Monterey Bay coastline, sealife and lighthouses, and is dedicated to Lt. Shea Johnson, who until recently served as the commander of the Rountree Medium Facility.
"These types of programs play an integral role in our overall recidivism reduction strategies throughout our jail system," Sheriff-Elect Jim Hart said in a press release. "Building self esteem in our incarcerated population, developing job skills and working on treatment and education benefits our community by reducing the number of inmates returning to custody each year."