Insight Prison Project Newsletter
  February 2011


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National African American History Month, in February, celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality.  Reflecting on their legacy of struggle and liberation can deepen our understanding of our Nation's history.

As I reflect on our nation's history I am dismayed that there is to this day a disproportionate number of African American men (and increasingly women) who will spend at least part of their lives in jail or prison.  In a Pew study entitled: One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008 a close examination of the most recent U.S. Department of Justice data (2006) found that while one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, the figure is one in nine for black males in that age group. For black women in their mid- to late-30s, the incarceration rate also has hit the one-in-100 mark.

Here at Insight Prison Project we witness the truth of this fact day in and day out when we sit in circles of compassion with men and women who have chosen to become fully accountable for their actions through insight and behavioral change.  While those we serve today are faithful to their healing journey, we live with the truth that until our society wakes up to our responsibilities for the inequities that persist, tomorrow's circle will continue to welcome too many of our African American brothers and sisters.     


We stand in solidarity with those we serve, both offenders and victims in our mutual desire to ensure freedom (at the very least internally) and equality for all.


Jennie K. Curits

Executive Director  

IPP Supporter Karen Jandorff Wins Volunteer of the Year Award

Heart of Marin Award
Congratulations to our very dedicated volunteer Karen Jandorff for winning the 2011 Center for Volunteer and Nonprofits Leadership's "Volunteer of the Year" Award! Not only did Karen get acknowledged for her work, IPP received a generous $5,000 gift from Brayton Purcell LLP in Novato, California.

Karen's outstanding work within IPP includes facilitating weekly Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) classes inside San Quentin State Prison and inside FCI Dublin, serving as chief editor of IPP's first ever Annual Report and supporting fundraising endevors. Many thanks to Karen for her heart felt and continued support of IPP. She is our volunteer extraordinaire!

IPP in the News and Around the World 

TED X Conference in Amsterdam: This past December, Jacques Verduin, IPP's Founding Director, presented at this year's Ted  X Women's Conference in Amsterdam. To see the complete speech on the Technology of Transformation: Leaving Prison Before You Get Out, click here


What is Something You Have Done, Recently, For Someone Else? Close your eyes and say to yourself, "state prison." Your mind likely fills with images, colors, sounds, emotions - all harsh - and most of them are probably accurate. But there is more to find in prison. There is humanity.


IPP Volunteer Becky LoDolce writes about her experiences inside San Quentin State Prison in this month's New Cartographer magazine. For the complete story,

click here 


VOEG - Where Survivors Meet Perpetrators: The muggy summer air inside of a small classroom buzzed with a nearly visible electric tension. Eleven men and one woman sat in a circle attentively listening to a twelfth man relate a story plumbed from the depths of his soul. He appears close to tears, nervously wringing his hands, struggling to make the words come.


IPP participant and current San Quentin inmate Cole writes about his experiences in our Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG). For the complete story, visit the

San Quentin monthly newsletter. 


Spring VOEG Facilitator Training - Sign Up Now, Space is Limited

The next Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) Facilitator Training will be held Monday, May 9th - Friday, May 13th, 2011 in San Rafael, CA. The purpose of VOEG training is to help offenders fully understand and take responsibility for the impact of their actions and to make the necessary changes in their lives in order to live a productive life free from prison. Click here  for details about the facilitator training. To register, please visit the training homepage.


If you have questions, or would like to sign up to receive the VOEG training newsletters, please contact Jennifer Thompson at

Fundraising Update    

Through the generous support of our funders and people like you, IPP is able to transform the lives of those impacted by incarceration through programs designed to develop behavior inspired by insight, accountability, and compassion. A special thanks to recent donors the Mental Insight Foundation, Bread and Roses, East Bay Community Foundation, and

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IPP has changed its Facebook page from a group to a nonprofit organization. If you followed us on the group, please "like us" on the new page. If you have never followed us before, "like us" for the latest information from IPP.

Our Work 

Vision: Insight Prison Project envisions a vibrant and just society that inspires individual transformation beyond the walls of both personal and institutional incarceration.

Mission: Insight Prison Project transforms the lives of those impacted by incarceration through programs designed to develop behavior inspired by insight, accountability and compassion.