Four inmates at Ohio’s River City Correctional Center, a facility for nonviolent offenders, are non-dancing extras this weekend’s Cincinnati Ballet season opener, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The center one of Ohio’s 18 community based correctional facilities, nontraditional jails that emphasize rehabilitation and social re-entry for nonviolent felony offenders. The program includes at least 30 hours of community service.
In this case, the ballet needed eight hunky guys to help lull audiences into a “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The convicts must wear the sort of knee-length skirts Roman soldiers wear in the movies. “They could have given us dresses without ruffles,” says a 36-year-old man serving a three-month sentence for trafficking in stolen goods. Says Charles Cotton, a supervisors accompanying the men: “We encourage the guys to try new things, the kind of things they never would have done under normal circumstances.”