BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — For the past six months inmates, throughout the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have used their artistic skills to hand-paint skateboards for children, according to a press release from CDCR.

Jessie Milo, 42, is one of the incarcerated artists at California State Prison-Corcoran.

On Milo’s hand-painted board are popular San Francisco attractions including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and a cable car.

“The first time I seen ‘frisco, I was shackled in a prison bus and I was going for a layover in San Quentin… so I’m shackled in the back of the bus and I’m looking over the Bay waters and the sun was hitting the water… and I was in awe,” Milo said.

At Corcoran, Milo participates in the college program, volunteers at programs and does art on his free time. In the college program, Milo is studying communications and hopes the degree will help him advocate for others.

“There’s multiple blessings in this because we also get to do it to help kids,” Milo told 17 News. “And so, growing up, my dad was in jail a lot. We didn’t have a lot of money and so to be able to participate in a program that gives back to the youth, that is really amazing for me to be a part of that.”

Milo shared a different project he is a part of, which is the prison journalism program. Over the last year, Milo was able to publish 20 stories through the program. One of his articles is up for national award in Canada.

Christopher Valencia, 42, is another one of the incarcerated artists at California State Prison- Corcoran.

Valencia’s skateboard features a Medusa profile and the phrase “Skate or die.”

“With the Medusa theme… I kind of felt with this whole COVID environment that life, as a whole, that’s just the fate of things.. even though things kind of look ugly or kind of scary in life it’s still beautiful, it’s still art, you know, and it’s still an expression ” Valencia said.

Valencia is involved in the college program, rehabilitation programs and murals. Valencia said, he would like to help people in poverty with legal work one day.

At Corcoran, Valencia helped create murals in tribute to school spirit. These murals are medieval themed and include knights, because the college program at Corcoran is ran through Bakersfield College.

“It really brought a little happiness in my life to be part of that, to give somebody else happiness” Valencia said.

Valencia said, painting the murals initiated his participation in the skateboard program.

Milo and Valenica both expressed gratitude for the opportunity of this program and shared how programs like this have given them opportunities to grow.

For the past three years Rodriguez has worked with several prisons to allow the incarcerated artist to paint the boards.

“These incarcerated artists are helping give young skaters a positive outlet,” said Rodney Rodriguez, founder of the Fresno Skateboard Salva, in a news release. “They are giving them the gift of skateboarding.”

Rodriguez added he has received positive feedback from many involved in the program, including the artists and children.