Incarcerated for over 26 years, Chris Shanahan credits the transformative power of the arts with empowering him to actively participate in his rehabilitation and support other peers with their own. Chris shares that his experiences in the Idaho State Correctional Center/Boise State University Prison Debate Initiative and “Sentences” creative nonfiction writing program were instrumental in providing him the skills, experiences and confidence he now applies to transforming the criminal justice system from the inside out. Inspired by those who dedicated their time, effort and resources to bringing the arts to him behind prison walls, he is dedicated to paying this investment forward. To date, Chris has helped create and lead three peer mentor programs in two prisons and also serves on the board of directors for Helpful Solutions Inc., a nonprofit committed to helping returning citizens with their reentry into the community. Currently a resident at the South Idaho Correctional Institution, Chris is excitedly pursuing his Peer Recovery Coach certification, as well as applying his skills in their groundbreaking Audio/Video Production program. In his spare time, Chris enjoys talking with his family and friends, as well as writing poetry.