BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Incarceration is one thing, but kids being incarcerated really makes you stop and think. A group called Maine Inside Out does a lot of that thinking.
The program provides of a variety of collaborative theater opportunities for around 30 juvenile inmates at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, as well as around 40 members who have been recently released. There are community group meetings for those outside in Biddeford, Portland and Lewiston where co-director Chiara Liberatore helps them discuss life after incarceration and plans for upcoming performances.
"They've had to survive their own lives, they've had to build resiliency in order to navigate their lives, but I think because of that they are powerful in ways that many of us can never understand," said Liberatore.
Gabriel Olson spent five years at Long Creek starting when he was 13-year-olds for participating in fights at school and acting out. Through Maine Inside Out performances he's been able to change his attitude and find a healthy way to express himself.
"The DA of my case saw my play and was like we're going to give you eight days timed served and you're just going to continue on like it never happened," said Olson. "So that was super powerful, because it was either that or I'd go to jail for a while."
For more information about Maine Inside out and a list of upcoming performances, click here.