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Art project attempts to humanize Cook County Jail

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by Steve Schmadeke

As a young child, Melissa Garcia thought her absent father was away studying at school.

It was how her mother concealed the fact that the father Garcia had never known was in prison. Only when she was 5 and the family visited him at the Danville Correctional Center did the truth dawn on her.

"I saw the barbed wire and thought what kind of school is this?" Garcia said.

The Humboldt Park native, now 24, says she really only knew her father through the letters he sent her from behind bars. Now those letters will be part of a unique art project designed to humanize one of the city's harshest institutions.


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