Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Service Learning Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Defined by their last, worst act, prison inmates are an often-forgotten population. Rates of childhood and adult trauma, such as physical and emotional abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are high among incarcerated persons (Wolff & Shi, 2012). Art can be a valuable tool in correctional facilities, benefitting inmates in the following categories: therapeutic, educational, prison quality-of-life management, and community involvement (Johnson, 2008). Through their intensive two-week art-based program, Shining Light (SL) offers a holistic approach to prisoner rehabilitation, reshaping inmates’ perspectives through intentional challenges intended to promote self-discovery, hope, meaning, self-efficacy, relationship skills, and overall enhanced well-being. In an effort to aid SL in supporting inmate well-being post-workshop, we propose an intervention which incorporates and utilizes character strengths in the following capacities: facilitator-training, a talkback, and journaling. This intervention proposes to amplify the positive effects of SL’s workshop and implement ongoing support post-program.


prison, positive psychology, well-being, character strengths, journaling, talkback, emotional intelligence, hope, mattering



Date Posted: 12 May 2023