Male, female inmates write and perform holiday plays as part of therapy

SALT LAKE COUNTY — For the first time ever, Salt Lake County Jail is releasing video footage of a therapeutic treatment for inmates.

The treatment — creating, scripting and acting in their own holiday plays.

The plays are a yearly tradition for participants of the Correctional Addiction Treatment Services program, a 3-month-long program which provides licensed therapists to serve as counselors to inmates struggling with addiction and mental health. It is facilitated by the non-profit Odyssey House.

One play was created and performed by female inmates, and another created and performed by male inmates.

Female inmates created a story loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. In their version, Dorothy and company find out they can achieve their holiday dreams by following the Odyssey House recovery program. Appropriately, the yellow brick road becomes the road to recovery.

Male inmates wrote a play which follows a young man who is given another chance by a judge to turn his life around; he does so through the CATS program.

You can see highlights from the inmates’ performances in the videos below: