Regarding “Transcending solitary” (July 31), by Joe Payne:
In her work for Arts in Corrections and the Poetic Justice Project, Deborah Tabola confronts and examines accepted practices of institutional abuse. Rather than railing against the profound injustice, she offers hope and potential healing in her work with inmates. She leads them from the depths of their souls to create a life based on self-acceptance, appreciation, and responsibility. Acting opens a door for these former inmates to participate in their rehabilitation and to educate the rest of us about life in the shadows that we’d rather ignore.
It’s hard for us to sympathize with men who intentionally damage and destroy, but we must acknowledge that they are part of us. We all live on this earth together, and we can’t eliminate those we find irksome. Ms. Tabola has offered a way for us to integrate these “offenders” into society. She recognizes and respects their humanity. Her work models a path for all of us. We are fortunate to have her in our community.
-- Ruth Cherry - San Luis Obispo