Art by Inti Gonzalez

This artwork was created by Inti Gonzalez, a youth leader at Youth Spirit Artworks, an interfaith job and training program for low-income and homeless young people in the San Francisco Bay Area. She made it to accompany Prison Journalism Project editorial liaison Joe Garcia’s essay, Incarcerated Insights into Incarceration, which was re-published on Street Spirit .

Inti said the following about the inspiration behind her work:

This article really resonated with me. For me and for many people I know, this pandemic is giving people a chance to sit with themselves, a chance for spiritual change. 

Joe in a way compares his prison experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, including me, this situation may feel imprisoning, but this situation is giving many people is a chance to see, evaluate, and recognize whatever emotional prison they may be in. They are learning about themselves and who they are, which is giving people the wonderful gift of a chance to change and grow. 

A new life is crawling up the bars inside you. The metal is corroding. Light is breaking through. 

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Inti Gonzalez

Inti Gonzalez is an artist based in Berkeley, Calif. She is currently a youth leader at Youth Spirit Artworks.  Some of her main interests are music — mainly singing, guitar and drums — and visual art. Inti’s hopes for the future include becoming an educator in music, as well as becoming a physical and emotional healer. She hopes to be a major part of her mother’s rehab healing center, the Jerry Garcia Family Clinic, where medicinal herbs are used to help Mexican street kids get off of hard drugs.