One year ago, a Crossroads student who regularly contributed graphite drawings to the Prison Art Project contacted us with the news that he had been released from prison. We immediately saw an opportunity to share the experience of a student reentering the world as expressed through the student’s graphite drawings. Over the last several months, we worked with the now-former student, Carmine Colantuono, as he created drawings to show the small joys and significant struggles of moving from incarceration back into a world that is often unwelcoming.

His struggles to find housing and work were significant, and his loneliness continues to be profound as he is estranged from his family and the church he attended before his incarceration. The kind acts of a few individuals have helped him find work, housing, and purpose as a free man.

You may recognize some of Carmine’s work from past issues of Threads. In addition, he drew the art for the cover of Douglas Cupery’s book, I See You, and he was instrumental in helping Douglas decide on the title of the book. Carmine’s work is also featured on the cover of our course Truths of the Faith, which is set to be released later this year.

This is the first time we have dedicated an entire issue of Threads to the work of one artist. We hope you enjoy Carmine’s story of faith under adversity and his creative vision. May you find strength from his witness to carry your burdens and, like Carmine, remember that you are never alone.

Click the image below to read the full issue:

Threads Spring 2024 Cover

Check out past issues of Threads at prisonartproject.org.


Support Successful Reentry for Students like Carmine

Each year, Crossroads Bible studies reach upwards of 25,000 incarcerated men and women in the United States. Eventually, nearly all Crossroads students will be released.

How are we, as Christians, preparing them to successfully reenter society?

This issue of Threads is dedicated to sharing the reentry story of one former student, Carmine Colantuono. His story shows how his faith grew behind bars and carried him through the challenges of reentry. Crossroads prepares men and women like Carmine with high-quality Bible studies and personal encouragement from caring mentors. In addition, for a smaller number of students, Crossroads supports faith formation through the chance to share their art with all Crossroads students via this magazine. We receive hundreds of art pieces each year from students who use drawing, painting, and poetry to progress from guilt and doubt to acceptance of God’s grace, forgiveness, and steady presence in their lives. Their published artwork empowers them to witness to others living behind bars.

As Carmine’s art and life illustrate, restoration is possible. His life illustrates the infinite nature of God’s grace. It also illustrates the ways God uses all of us as messengers of hope. For just as Carmine received grace, his life is now a faithful testimony of God’s grace to others.

Join us in supporting more students like Carmine at cpministries.org/donate.