Evidence is the seventh and most recent anthology produced by Free Write Arts & Literacy, an organization that engages incarcerated and court-involved youth and young adults in the performing, visual, and literary arts so that they become the narrators of their own stories and the authors of their futures. By co-designing creative space with their students, Free Write supports them as they develop educational and career opportunities that reduce recidivism while also contributing to the public discourse around issues of youth incarceration.
In Evidence, the reader will encounter stories of loss, love, resilience, hope, and fear as told by Chicago's young incarcerated poets and artists. Their stories speak directly to practitioners, peers, policy makers, and the general public so that we all may reimagine youth justice and reinvest in our communities.
Author and poet Reginald Dwayne Betts said of Evidence,
"The lives of these students, the fragments of those lives captured in their work, in their writing, their art – that has always been the gateway to their tomorrows. The prison cells, jail cells, dark spaces of juvenile detention centers, none of them can hold what we create when we believe our narratives are more expansive, more meaningful and worthy to be signified on, than our darkest moments."