My name is Robert Frye and I am asking for your financial support of Insight Prison Project.
I've been incarcerated for the past 22 years. I am writing to you today to share an insider's viewpoint into the transformative value of the myriad of programs that Insight Prison Project offers to men like me.
My journey of self exploration and discovery started in one of IPP's meditation classes in 2001. I was initially skeptical - sitting in a room for 45 minutes at a time in complete silence was a little out of my scope, to say the least. It's quite funny to look back on it now. I was so lost and disconnected from my humanity and my authentic self.
My light bulb moment came through the victim offender education program (VOEG). I realized that my deep-seated denial stemmed from the shame and guilt I carried for so many years. I refused to take responsibility. VOEG helped me to confront my underlying shame and allowed me to objectively look at my culpability.
IPP classes such as Violence Prevention, VOEG, Yoga and so many others provide a great service to the men here at San Quentin. The opportunity for men to explore and confront themselves, their history, their trauma, grief, pain, anguish and denial in an open, supporting and non-judgmental way is transforming.
This process is by no means easy, it takes a lot to be able to open "pandora's box" so to speak and to expose yourself to one's faults and insecurities. It's a daunting challenge, but so liberating at the same time. The men here are hungry to do this work and to discover who they truly are. I know if it wasn't for the exposure and the serious work I've done with the many IPP programs I wouldn't be the loving, empathetic and compassionate human being I am today.
In closing, I want to thank you in advance for contributing to IPP. Your contribution indicates that you believe the men inside prison are redeemable - and we are!! They say that doing time is easy. But doing the work of IPP is hard - in a good way. When one discovers what went wrong in one's life and takes accountability for one's transgressions; I call that justice!
How do we as a society want these men to return? For my community, I pray that they have a chance to participate in programs like IPP's in order to be exposed to new possibilities in life.
Peace and blessings to you,
Robert D. Frye