Dignity - State or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. I was born with dignity, yet I felt it being stripped away. Now I want it back. I now feel strong enough to deserve my dignity. Now I want, and I am, in dignity again. Jessica
I had the privilege of participating in a specialized photography class designed for incarcerated individuals, and it had been a transformative experience. The program doesn't just teach photography; it restores dignity and empowers individuals who often feel forgotten.
Under the guidance of Saskia Keeley, and with access to essential digital photography equipment, I learned to see the world from a different perspective. Capturing moments through the lens allowed me to reconnect with my creative side and express myself in ways I never thought possible within the confines of a correctional facility.
More than technical skills, this class provided a sense of purpose and self-worth. It reminded me that I am capable of creating beauty even in challenging circumstances. It allowed me to tell my own story, and in doing so, regain a sense of dignity and identity.
I am grateful for Saskia's program and the opportunity it has given me to develop not only with new photography skills but as a person. It was a journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and a reminder that no matter where we are, our dignity and creativity can never be taken away.
I wholeheartedly endorse this program and hope that it continues to make a positive impact on the lives of incarcerated individuals who deserve a chance to rebuild their self-esteem and find their voice through photography.
December 5, 2023, CBS News Photography by Suffolk County inmates on display at correctional facility in Yaphank