Graca Duarte Santos, Mafalda Barreiros


Numerous pathways of social maladjustment culminate in punitive and restrictive measures. Often these measures do not focus on the possibility of listening to the internal expression or in alternative to the development of these individuals. Often the close doors of prisons are also darkness without doors.

The experience of the arts (based on principles of expressive arts therapy) can function in these individuals as a guide leading to the discovery of the origins of anger, and enables them to be active and creative in their own recovery process.

In this text the authors intend to reflect on the applications of different artistic forms in institutional settings that are intended to rehabilitation of young people and adults whose behaviors were typed as dangerous in a legal framework.

They present 11 projects carried out in these contexts in Portugal. Data collection was carried out through semi-structured interview conducted with project coordinators. Subsequently these data were processed using the methodology of content analysis. Results highlight important positive changes in participants’ assets in these projects.

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