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Inmate art project to serve as semi-permanent display at Summit County Justice Center
Contact:Commander Erik Bourgerie, Detentions Division, Summit County Sheriff’s Office970-453-2232; Erik.Bourgerie@SummitCountyCO.gov
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Art Forum and Summit County Sheriff’s Office will dedicate a new art installation at 12 noon, Friday, Oct. 28, at the Summit County Justice Center, 501 N. Park Ave., Breckenridge. The installation, “Peace Cranes: A Journey,” includes more than 1,000 origami peace cranes mounted on aspen branches. The work will be featured in the Justice Center as a semi-permanent display.
Summit County Detention Facility inmates began creating peace cranes in 2014 as part of a behavioral health project administered by Mind Springs Health through the Jail Based Behavioral Health Services program within the Colorado Department of Human Services. Through the project, inmates wrote inspirational quotes or intentions inside each crane before folding it.
“Rehabilitation is one of the central sentencing objectives in the Colorado courts,” Fifth Judicial District Chief Judge Mark Thompson said. “Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues impact many of our inmates. Projects like the peace cranes, coupled with the many other behavioral health services offered in Summit County’s detention facility, are an important step to providing inmates with opportunities to improve their mental health and adopt prosocial behaviors before returning to our community.”
The project was designed in part to help reduce conflict among inmates and support positive relationships. Making the cranes served as an opportunity for reflection and personal expression.
“The inmates took the project a step further, writing the messages and folding the cranes as a group, discussing the impact of the messages while they worked,” Detentions Division Commander Erik Bourgerie said. “Several inmates have told me that the project was helpful to them in their work to overcome substance use disorders and manage mental health issues.”
The Summit County Art Forum collaborated with local artist Kristina Nethaway and Frisco Historic Park & Museum Director Simone Belz to develop the display design.“Through the installation, we wanted to tell a story and honor the space of the Justice Center,” Belz said.
The dedication takes place during Conflict Resolution Month, a statewide initiative that builds awareness of constructive, nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict and dispute. Several weeks ago, the Board of County Commissioners proclaimed October 2016 to be Conflict Resolution Month in Summit County.
“Not only is this going to be a really beautiful work of art,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “It will also carry important messages of peace, hope and healing, as symbolized through the paper cranes.”
Friday’s dedication of “Peace Cranes: A Journey” is open to the public.