Exciting News: Future IDs at Alcatraz in The Economist!

Future IDs at Alcatraz is a yearlong project, exhibition, and series of monthly community programs. The installation features ID-inspired artworks created by and with individuals who have conviction histories as they conceive and develop a vision for a future self. In stark contrast to prison-issued IDs, these artworks represent individual stories of transformation and work to amplify the voices and visions of individuals returning to everyday life after incarceration. 

Future IDs at Alcatraz invites reflection on the criminal justice system, second chances, and individual freedoms in the United States. Today, this country has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated people. More than 95% will eventually be released, but individuals returning to society face an almost insurmountable stigma of having a history of incarceration, contributing to consistently high rates of recidivism. 

Social practice artist Gregory Sale leads a team that works to translate criminal justice reform efforts into a visual language. Together, Sale, Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, and many others are exploring ways to shift thinking about rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration. Though none of the Future IDs participants were incarcerated on Alcatraz, the project engages Alcatraz’s layered history as iconic federal prison, the birthplace of the Native American Red Power Movement, a national park, and an International Site of Conscience. Future IDs is presented in partnership with the Art in the Parks program of the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.