This 14-week program was created in 2002, because of a request from an Asst. Warden at the Lockhart Unit. She witnessed the phenomenon that is called “short timing:” It is common that when inmates are on their way out of prison that they began to show reactionary behaviors, that are often self-destructive, to the reality of being released, even when they’ve been model prisoners for years. There is fear of the unknown and many prisoners know they will return to the same environment they left with little opportunity, support, or financial possibilities for a new lifestyle. There is the reality that many will be returning to older children, who’ve been living without their parenting for a number of years. These realities can heighten emotions of panic, confusion, and depression.
The objectives of this program are:
- Provide a safe community to express the roller coaster of thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
- Gather each week, practicing honesty and integrity, with the willingness to stretch their comfort zones.
- Practice meditation, journaling, and stillness, so that the heightened emotions can settle down and they can gain clarity in decision-making.
- Identify and practice completing short-term goals.
- Express a detailed Creative writing to employ a strong manifestation of their long-term goals.
- Identify “Red Flags,” which are triggers, and make a plan for this occurrence.
- Role-play scenarios that engage the confused & angry self vs… the wise and balanced self, with the intention that this will set a memory in place for the times when over-reaction can be detrimental.
- Introduce & identify how shame destroys, gaining insight to begin building shame resiliency
- Bottom line is for these women to find love and respect for themselves and each other, with the ultimate goal to be a woman that makes a difference in the world for good and does not walk out of prison as a number and a statistic, but rather as a woman that is proud of herself.