Reforming the Lorton Reformatory
March 11, 2009 7:08 AM Subscribe
“There is nothing like this in the United States," said Leone. "We’ve looked." The Workhouse Arts Center near Occoquan, VA opened in September 2008 on the grounds of a former prison that was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt as a rehabilitation facility for Washington, DC criminals. Its extensive agrarian projects were intended to put them in touch with nature, but by 1917 security tightened and suffragettes protesting before the White House endured harsh treatment there. The city continued sending inmates to the overcrowded facility until Congress ordered the prison to be shuttered. For years it stood empty, but now the historic buildings are being transformed into studios for local artists (previously).
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