Prison Arts Collective (PAC) is dedicated to expanding access to the transformative power of the arts to people who are experiencing incarceration and is based on the core belief that art is a human right. PAC evolved out of socially-engaged art and community advocacy and is sustained through partnerships with California state universities and the state prison system. As the only University-based Transformative Arts program in California, PAC draws on the expertise and research of faculty, the energy and enthusiasm of students and volunteers, and the experience and support of incarcerated peer facilitators and program alumni to provide visual and interdisciplinary arts programming in California prisons. PAC programs include the Arts Facilitator Training for incarcerated peer-leaders, guest artist workshops, and classes in visual arts, writing, yoga, and collaborative art. PAC's oversight, development, and organization are influenced by principles of mutuality and collaboration, creativity and wellness, and principles of restorative justice.
PAC was founded in 2013 by Professor Annie Buckley, director of the School of Art + Design, and is headquartered at SDSU with chapters at CSU Fresno, CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, and Humboldt State University. PAC is a project of Transformative Arts, an initiative of the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and has received additional funding from CDCR Innovative Programming grants and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2019, PAC was honored with a formal Recognition in the California State Senate by Senator Jim Beall for its work to support and empower the justice impacted community through arts engagement.