Justin Phipps – Dehumanization of Criminals

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Faculty mentor: Colleen James

Artist’s Statement: Before I began with my art piece I knew that I wanted to create something that could depict the clear differences between encouraging criminal activity and preventing it while criminals are incarcerated. Initially I spent some time dabbling with the idea of incorporating police officers into my illustration due to the controversial atmosphere surrounding them at this time, but instead I decided to avoid that idea and be more creative. Therefore, I decided on creating an illustration which would show the two main ways of what can be done to help criminals, and what is currently being done to dehumanize criminals while incarcerated.

Throughout my research in the past few weeks I have been able to create an annotated bibliography as well as an outline which are both based on criminal psychology and what can be done differently to help criminals regain their normal lives. During my research I noticed a few characteristics which are common among criminals, these happen to be mental health issues along with low levels of hope. Added with this, I was also able to conclude that the current atmosphere surrounding prison life severely affects individual’s mental health, as well as lowering their hope levels. With that said, I believe that one can reasonably assume that individuals who have been incarcerated are not receiving the resources they need which then encourages more criminal behavior.

Accordingly, I wanted to create a piece of visual art which represented the mindset of dehumanizing criminals compared to the mindset of what can be done to help criminals. To be more specific, the blue head represents the good, where the red represents the bad. The objects included within the blue head indicate resources such as counseling, proper medication, healthy meals, along with proper entertainment. However, the objects in the red head represent the lack of counseling, proper medication, healthy meals, and entertainment which is currently existing in prisons worldwide. 

View my art below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: justinphipps15@gmail.com

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