Current Exhibition

Over the last 40 years, incarceration has grown into an $80 billion industry. One that depends on the human caging of 2.3 million people to extract wealth and resources from the economically-distressed, and disproportionately black and brown, communities unjustly targeted by our criminal legal system. Companies like Securus and Union Supply charge spouses $3.95 to listen to a voicemail from their partners and mothers $4.15 to deposit $10 on the commissary accounts of their children.

Incarcerated people know best that profits in the prison industry are directly linked to suffering. Often, however, words fall short in conveying the harms that commercialization inflicts.

Capitalizing on Justice features the works of incarcerated artists from across the nation who have used their talents to express the ways they and their loved ones have been commodified. Spanning a variety of genres and styles, the works in this exhibition were made using limited resources: state-issued materials, prison contraband, and yard scraps. They were shipped in makeshift envelopes and tattered boxes from as deep in our criminal legal system as Arkansas’ death row and come together to make a strong statement against the prison industrial complex.

Importantly, thanks to funding support, the incarcerated artists whose works are showcased in this exhibit have received financial awards in compensation for their labor. To learn more about the exhibiition and the Corrections Accountability Project, visit

Exhibition Press for Jerome Ave Workers Project


5/1/18 | Il Bronx al lavoro

The Eye of Photography

4/13/18 | Portraits on Jerome Avenue, New York

Talk Real Now

3/30/18 | Going, going…gone

F Stop Magazine

3/29/18 | The Bronx Photo League: Jerome Avenue Workers Project

Past Exhibitions

Jerome Ave Workers Project

3/29/18 - 10/1/18 | Jerome Ave: inside one of New York City's last working class areas - in pictures The Guardian

The Art of Shani Jamila

10/26/17 - 2/16/18 | Click here to view Shani’s TED Talk, Reimagining Resistance through Art.

The Art of Molly Crabapple

10/1/16 - 10/1/17 | The War On Drugs is An Epic Fail The New York Times

We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains: The Art of Emory Douglas

June 19 - September 16, 2016 | Fifty Years Later, Black Panthers Art Still Resonates The New York Times

The Art of Disruption, Rap Sheet to Resume

October 29, 2015 | Event Page
Urban Justice Center (40 Rector St, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10006)

Previous Speakers and Organizers


Emory Douglas

Artist, Activist


Soffiyah Elijah

Advocate, Attorney, Scholar


Robyn C. Spencer



Exhibition Curator: Shani Jamila

Dir of HRP at UJC, Artist, Activist


Favianna Rodriguez

Artist, activist and cultural organizer


Gregory Sale

Artist, activist

Johnny Perez

Johnny Perez

UJC Safe Re-Entry Advocate

Glenn Martin

Glenn Martin

Founder, Just Leadership USA

Marisa Morán Jahn

Exhibition Curator: Marisa Morán Jahn

Artist, Activist, UJC Designer

Susan Goodwillie

Susan Goodwillie

Actress; UJC Social Worker

Doug Lasdon

Opening Remarks: Doug Lasdon

UJC Founder & Exec. Dir

Art at UJC

As one of the nation’s leading legal service providers to over 19,000 of New York City’s most vulnerable residents each year, the Urban Justice Center (UJC) believes that art plays a critical role in re-sensitizing us to overlooked or complex issues — as well as moving us to act. By curating and commissioning original works by diverse artists, UJC invites new ways to reflect upon its work, forge new connections, foster innovation, and to move the public to take action on issues critical to its mission.

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"Art plays a critical role in making us feel and think about today's most pressing social issues."

Doug Lasdon, Executive Director, UJC