ACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

Jail & Prison Resources

A college education in prison opens path to freedom (calmatters.org)

Cal State LA’s Prison Graduation Initiative is the state’s only public bachelor’s degree program sending professors to teach behind bars. College programs like it were once far more common, and today advocates are hopeful the political winds have shifted enough to bring public dollars back to prison education. Federal legislation that would make grant aid available has bipartisan support, and in California, a bill to open the state’s financial aid program to incarcerated students is headed...

Clark instructors help Larch inmates earn GEDs (columbian.com)

YACOLT — Posted on the walls in the Larch Corrections Center’s education building are photos of inmates, beaming in blue caps and gowns. These are men who have earned their General Educational Development certificates, or GEDs. These are the men who came first. In a nearby classroom, other men in beige and burgundy uniforms huddle over textbooks and worksheets. These are the men who hope to come next. Clark College’s GED program at Larch Corrections Center is a cornerstone of the educational...

James Fox and the Prison Yoga Project (dailygood.org)

James Fox M.A. is the founder and director of the Prison Yoga Project , (PYP), an organization dedicated to establishing yoga and mindfulness programs in prisons and rehabilitation centers worldwide. Since 2002, Fox has been teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners at San Quentin Prison as well as other California State prisons. The Prison Yoga Project helps incarcerated men and women build a better life through trauma-informed yoga with a focus on mindfulness . It helps prisoners make...

Staying Connected: Moms Who Pump in Prison (nextcity.org)

An innovative lactation program encourages incarcerated new moms to maintain their breast milk supply, reinforcing maternal bonds and providing health benefits to their newborns. Jackson is one of six mothers at Riverside who are currently participating in the lactation program, one of the first of its kind inside an American jail. Women who give birth just before or during their time here are given access to breastfeeding education and the facilities of the lactation room, plus additional...

NYC Books Through Bars (dailygood.org)

I recently slipped through a sidewalk cellar door to enter the basement of Freebird Books , a large space crammed with books organized into different sections, where I spent the evening reading letters from prison inmates and selecting and packaging books for them. At least twice a week , volunteers go through the 700-800 letters NYC Books Through Bars , a collective based in New York City, New York, receives from inmates every month and fulfill their requests. It's a team effort. Founded 21...

Crime once plagued San Joaquin County, but now its jail has empty beds. Here’s what it did right (latimes.com)

While overall crime in California increased slightly after 2011, San Joaquin County’s dropped 20% — and hit a decades-old low last year. The county’s jail, which had been under court-ordered monitoring because of dangerous overcrowding, now has empty beds. Participation in specialized drug courts has increased and recidivism among newly released offenders has dropped. It is unclear how much of the county’s success is the result of its new programs rather than other factors, such as hiring...

Massive jail expansion is finished. Can the programs change the lives of inmates? (modbee.com)

Stanislaus County leaders said a new minimum security jail facility, now complete at the Public Safety Center, is designed for programs to change the criminal patterns of inmates and ensure fewer come back after their release. Public tours of what’s called the REACT center held this week touted the classrooms in each housing unit, a family reunification room and sitting areas with multimedia screens. So far, the array of programs to assist inmates with addiction, behavioral issues and the...

Yoga Behind Bars has offered yoga classes to prisoners for a while. Now it’s teaching inmates at the women’s prison near Gig Harbor how to lead classes themselves. (seattletimes.com)

“The people who know best what tools are needed to serve incarcerated people are those who are incarcerated themselves,” says Program Director Jess Frank. “Not only will it give them incredible tools while they’re incarcerated, it’s also a way for them to have … a part-time job” upon release. But teaching yoga in prisons requires special skills, and “trauma-informed” teaching is a central philosophy of the program. The curriculum for the day I attended included sessions on the impact of...

"5 myths about putting people in prison and what actually works." (upworthy.com)

When people commit crimes, we send them away from their families and communities to become better by locking them in cells. That idea really starts to fall apart when you consider the number of people who abuse drugs , people with mental illness, and people of color in the prison system. Sometimes society's most egregious myths are right in front of our faces. Thankfully, as a society, starting to take a second look at the parts of our criminal justice system, especially prisons, that might...

These prison inmates are saving the Earth as they serve their time (upworthy.com)

Efforts like this are possible through Washington's Sustainability in Prisons programs. It began in 2003 as a pilot project between Cedar Creek Corrections Center and Evergreen State College . Cedar Creek was looking to go green, and had already launched gardening, compost, and recycling projects. Around the same time, a professor at Evergreen, Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, was looking to work with inmates to study forest mosses, which desperately needed to be replenished. The two projects crossed...

Reject more jail expansion and invest in prevention, re-entry (sacbee.com)

Recently, when Gov. Jerry Brown warned of impending deficits and the perils of committing to new spending in his revised budget proposal, he failed to mention the one area in which he has been consistently profligate: his aggressive expansion of the state’s already vast system of imprisonment. The governor is proposing $250 million for county jail construction, on top of the $2.2 billion he has already poured into expanding county jails since 2008. More than 40 counties are already building...

Can Restorative Justice Help Prisoners to Heal? (greatergood.berkeley.edu)

The Insight Prison Project helps incarcerated men learn new emotional skills in order to succeed in and out of prison. But it can also help crime survivors. A dozen men sit in a circle. Some are old and some are young. A facilitator asks each one to check in with the group about how they are feeling emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Sometimes a man tears up with emotion as he talks. The others listen, offering nods of support or asking clarifying questions. It sounds like a typical...

 
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