Instilling Hope: Creative Arts Therapy in a Forensic Setting
Creative Arts Therapy is a unique and often non-intimidating approach to mental health treatment in a correctional environment, wherein expressing and processing emotions can be challenging or even dangerous outside the framework of these sessions. Working in a forensic setting, our goal is to empower our patients to use their voice, increase self-esteem, build community, and instill hope.
Christina Lisi is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist at Rikers Island since 2014 and in Private Practice since 2019. Within Correctional Health, she works in a male facility, working with adults diagnosed with acute mental illness, personality disorders, behavioral issues, impulse control and trauma. Christina holds a BFA in Studio Art from Adelphi University and MA in Clinical Art Therapy from LIU Post.
Jeffery Angell is a full-time Music Therapist in forensic psychiatry at Rikers Island, having led songwriting, Hip Hop, sing-a-long, drumming, listening, and recording sessions since 2018. He worked in inpatient psychiatry from 2011 to 2015 at the Bronx Psychiatric Center and Kings County Hospital prior to living and working in the Central African nation of Cameroon from 2015 to 2018. In addition to Music Therapy, Jeff is active as a musician and producer under his independent label, Rockin Chair Productions. Jeff holds a BA in Music from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Music Therapy from NYU.
Rajesh Mehra is a Licensed Creative Arts therapist, and has provided mental health care for those incarcerated at Rikers Island Correctional Facility since 2013. Inspired to work in corrections due to shift in focus towards treatment and rehabilitation reforms for seriously mentally ill detainees, Rajesh has since expanded his efforts towards those being held in punitive segregation, and most recently for transgender and non-binary detainees. Rajesh holds a BA from Clark University with a double major in Psychology and Studio Art, and a MA in Creative Arts Therapy from NYU.