Debbie Ellithorpe 27sc

Debbie Ellithorpe

Debbie Ellithorpe's activity stream

  • donated 2018-12-18 08:27:45 -0800

    Support Us

    Help us put a stop to the school-to-prison pipeline.
    Help us disrupt the recidivism cycle.
    Help us allow theater to change lives inside and outside of prisons.

    The Actors’ Gang is home to brave theater, the kind of theater that champions diversity, seeks out alternative points of view, and serves our community through free education programs in 16 schools, as well as rehabilitative programs in 12 California State prisons, 2 juvenile detention camps, and 2 reentry facilities.

    Your gift can help rewrite someone’s life story
    The Actors' Gang is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and contributions made are tax-deductible.

    If you prefer to speak to someone directly about your gift, please contact us at 310.838.4264

  • donated 2017-12-14 16:43:36 -0800

    The Prison Project

    The Actors' Gang Prison Project started in 2006 in response to Caifornia's huge recidivism rate and excessive overcrowding.

    In the last thirty years California has built three Universities, and an astonishing twenty-four Prisons. California leads the nation in recidivism within the first three years of inmate release, yet six years ago the State cut all funding to all Arts in Corrections programs in spite of evidence of the huge impact Arts in Corrections can have.  

    According to CDCR preliminary analysis, participants who have completed our program have a 10.6% recidivism rate. The state of California has a 61% recidivism rate...

    Research institute, Impact Justice, reports an 89% decrease in disciplinary incidents, known as 115’s, for participants who have completed our program.

    Underneath these quantifiable positive results is the personal impact our program has upon the individual participants:

    "Now I know how to convert poison into medicine.”

    “Before this class I had huge anger problems. Now I smile too much and my cheeks hurt! This class opened the door for me.”

    “Barriers are being broken, we are all talking, there is a spirit of peace on the yard.” 

    Corrections Officer Frank Vela - "I see changes in the guys' attitudes. They are more outgoing. They now go up and talk to people. They intermingle more. It really makes a big change in the guys." 


    In our 13 years of work, we have seen transformative change. We've seen the emotional truth in our workshops dissolve years of inbred hatred. We've seen men and women transform from cynics to dreamers, embrace compassion as a fundamental part of their personality. They've gone from men with no hope to leaders who mentor others. This is what's possible if we accept that Arts programs are not leisure time, they're programs that create fundamental change and can create profound shifts in inmate’s consciousness. And until we find a way to change our laws, give a broader education to our kids and raise up the neglected and struggling communities around us, we will continue to need a wide-ranging, creative approach to rehabilitation and reentry for those who will be rejoining us. And in order to take into account that humans are not just a brain, but also emotions, we continue to require a way to harness and mend that part of the life of the incarcerated. We know that our work can do that and we ask that you join us in supporting this work by donating and advocating so that it can continue at this crucial time.

    Thank you.