100 Days Selected Project for Criminal Justice

In 2014 an inmate incarcerated at SCI Fayette, suffered from debilitating headaches, without adequate access to health care. Ben Fiorillo, advocate, and community organizer raising awareness for the diseases exacerbated by Coal Ash in Fayette, provided assistance in lobbing for the medical care this man deserved.

The Portrait Project: Faces from Within, was conceived as a way to continue to raise awareness for inadequate access to health care behind bars. The Portrait Project is an illustrated journal, combining original inmate portraits, drawn by incarcerated artist Cosimo Liberto, along with inmate’s written accounts of health care injustices. The journal will be professionally designed, and offered for sale highlighting the artistry of men inside South Fayette, while also raising awareness for the pain they endure. 100% of the proceeds will establish a health care fund, administered by our non-profit partner, Focus Pittsburgh, a free health care clinic, that can care for, and identify the released prisoners.

An exhibition of the original portraits is also planned, featuring the now released artist, Cosimo Liberto, who will read a selection of the stories, followed by a panel of health and human justice advocates to lead public discussion about the disproportionately high rates of prisoners with chronic diseases, that when released, are unable to access consistent sources of health care, often resulting in rearrests and incarceration. The Affordable Healthcare Act was to extend Medicare to address these issues, so now there is new an urgency for the public to understand all the ramifications of repealing AHA.

Project Leader/Applicant:

Jody Guy from Pittsburgh (Braddock Hills / Forest Hills / Wilkinsburg)

Additional Team Members:

Ben Fiorillo, Paul Abernathy

Project Budget:


Related Links:

focuspghcommunications.wordpress.com/ Health care clinic background
www.putpeoplefirstpa.org/ Ben Fiorillo’s current advocacy position
www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=center%20for%20civic%20arts The Center for Civic Arts, facebook page underconstruction

Important Dates:

  • January 20: Awards announced and edits to the stories begin
  • February 10: Edited stories and portraits to the designer
  • March 3: Designed journal to printer
  • February 10: Research and secure a date for a pop up venue for the public event
  • February 24: Research and secure speakers for the reception
  • April 14: PR and marketing for the event done
  • April 29: Three venues to sell the journals confirmed (no fee for handling the sale)
  • May 1: Public exhibition venew tbd (Hill or Wilkinburg)
  • May 1: Journals in additional sale venues (TBD) in Wilkinsburg, HIll, Garfield