So I guess the “prison rape video and candy bar” story was a good way to lead up to what the other mural painters and I just had to paint all over the prison compound.
In all of the housing units we were asked to paint “PREA signs” PREA, or the prison rape elimination act is an organization designed to eliminate prison rape. Which, as I hinted at in the “candy bar” story is all but extinct these days. Especially at a lower level therapeutic community prison like the one I am at.
Rape is unheard of here.
But the powers that still be decided that it would be a good idea to paint these signs in all of the buildings.
We were also asked to make them nice and pretty. Unique and original… with us being artist and all.
But how nice and pretty can you make a prison rape sign?
How about a “candy bar” on a pillow with the caption reading “PREA don’t get fucked in prison?” I suggested.
My idea was not well conceived.
We were then told the pieces had to be kept serious in nature.
Each mural painter had to tackle 3 different housing units. That is around 230 personalities questioning why the hell we were painting these signs. Not to mention all the shit we caught from staff and counselors
Each of us caught major flack because of this gig.
I myself heard quite a bit of suggestions about what I should paint to accompany PREA.
Oh, and if painting the signs wasn’t already bad enough… where they wanted the signs painted in each of the housing units was the real icing on the cake.
We had to paint them on the outside wall of the restroom!
So… you can imagine some of what I heard…or, maybe if you can’t I’ll tell you things like – “you should put Frankies face on that PREA sign… have him crying curled over or pulling up his pants”
“You should paint exit only on the bathroom doors.”
“How about PREA rape zone here! With an arrow pointing to the restrooms.”
“Dude you could sell rape out of prison!”
Yes… I heard a lot of crazy shit painting those rape signs. Thankfully though, that gig is over.
But I kind of feel traumatized from it. Sort of like I was raped… “verbally”.