By Brad Edwards

(CBS) — Art is bringing joy and fulfillment to men in the most unexpected place: Division 11 of the Cook County Jail.

It’s Positively Chicago, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports.

Italian-born chef Bruno Abate previously helped set up a pizzeria in the jail, as a way to give inmates job skills.

Next step has been a painting program.

Among the inmates getting a chance to explore their art is Lehi Lopez.

“I’m not in jail when I’m actually painting,” he says.

Justin Lamerdin has previous convictions for burglary.

He’s proven to be not the best thief, but a heck of an artist.

The jail program is called Recipe for Change and it’s completely self-funded.

Chef Abate, who employs several of the inmates who are now out, is looking for donors to help launch the music program in early 2018.

 

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