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Tennessee jail using art to assist inmates

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Inmates at the Hamilton County Jail in Chattanooga have 90 minutes each Friday night to escape - in a figurative sense.

The jail, through a nonprofit organization, offers the inmates a nine-week course in art called Mark Making that instructors describe as rewarding for them and emotionally beneficial for the inmates.

The course is voluntary but one of the more popular extracurricular offerings at the jail.

The inmates come from across the jail's spectrum - wearing orange jumpsuits for general population or red to signify high-risk offender status. All remain shackled around their ankles and have the same jail-issued orange sandals on their feet during the class.

Inmate Christopher Wehunt told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1qxXbGr ) described the art class calming in an otherwise violent place.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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