After seeing firsthand the hopeless future awaiting inmates, Jorge Cueto opened a fashion business to offer them a chance at a legal job.
Americas Quarterly: What is Prison Art?
Jorge Cueto: We make and sell luxury handbags and other items featuring tattoo-style art. I started it after I was incarcerated for almost a year before being cleared of my charges. I was one of 11,900 men in a facility for 3,000. It was hell. There I saw how hopeless the future was for inmates. They leave prison without any skills or education. Their only hope is to find work maybe as drug mules or as assassins, and the result is that last year we had over 36,000 murders in Mexico, double the number in the U.S. So, in prison, I had the idea to create Prison Art to give a more hopeful future to people leaving prison.