Insight Prison Project Newsletter
Hearts Broken Open

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In This Issue
Events and Happenings Inside San Quentin
Facilitator Spotlight
Fundraising Update
Trainings Overview
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Insight comes when we open our eyes and the ears of our heart.  The words below, from one of the men we serve in San Quentin, reminds those of us who support the work of IPP that compassionate action flows from an insightful heart.

"Every good action in my eyes is worthy of reciprocation. May the program of IPP bring more healing, especially to survivors of violence". - Prisoner M.V.


ManAlive Peer Facilitators Trained
In November 2011, the Insight Prison Project sponsored a special 16 hour training at San Quentin in the Manalive violence prevention curriculum. Manalive is an evidence-based, violence prevention program, developed by Hamish Sinclair and pioneered at the San Francisco County Jail. Mr. Sinclair, along with IPP's certified Manalive facilitator, Ivan Corado-Vega, conducted the training, which was intended to provide continuing education credits and enhance the teaching skills of the four State certified, San Quentin prisoner facilitators who peer facilitate in IPP's Violence Prevention Program. Eight other long-term students in the program also attended the training.

The Work Daylong
On Sunday, December 4, IPP facilitator Kathy Harris held a daylong intensive based on "The Work " of Byron Katie, which utilizes cognitive processing to train students to look at underlying thoughts and overcome deep-seated, self-defeating behavior. Some 50 participants were led through a series of exercises throughout the day specifically designed to  discover deeper levels of freedom by identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause suffering.


Jack Dison
Jack Dison
Jack Dison
"When I retired from the academic world.  I had this enormous hope that I would find something that would be a good fit for me and I would be able to make a contribution to the lives of those who are incarcerated. I found that exactly through my work with VOEG and the Insight Prison Project". - Jack Dison

We at IPP wish to acknowledge Jack as one of our beloved facilitators who has done so much in support and development of the VOEG program. Jack Dison began running a VOEG group at SQ in 2005. His professional background as an educator combined with his skills from his work in the field of Restorative Justice made him a natural facilitator.  Over the years, Jack has continued to facilitate VOEG at San Quentin and other prisons as well as train professionals in the IPP facilitation model, facilitate dialogues between victims and offenders, run peacemaking circles and teach conflict resolution to prisoners throughout California.  He is a recognized expert who has worked tirelessly to help educate and inform others about restorative justice.

Jack has been instrumental in helping the VOEG curriculum to grow and evolve. His genuine care, attention and great capacity for compassion have been infused into the work and the model of facilitation we teach today. We wish to thank Jack for his many contributions!
Thank You for Your Support
IPP's life transforming work depends on the generosity of those who themselves possess insight.

The dollars we have raised thus far in our current fiscal year have translated into 3 violence prevention classes serving 70+, 4 yoga classes serving 50+, 6 victim offender groups serving over 100 men, along with 3 other classes serving an additional 100+, all within the confines of San Quentin.  
planting seeds
Meanwhile we are also actively working to respond to the needs of several Bay Area counties impacted by the realignment of California's prison population.

Our efforts to expand our services to other prisons in the state is also picking up steam.  Coming on line in the next month or two will be victim offender education groups at CCWF, CSP-Solano, CIM and CIW.  The programs in each of these sites are made possible through the extraordinary generosity of trained volunteer facilitators. Just this month IPP's world renowned yogi supported a daylong Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation training at CDSP- Solano for 38 men. This training officially launched peer led yoga classes at CSP-Solano that will be held 3x weekly.

Your compassionate hearts which translate into generous gifts of resources make all these actions possible.  And as M.V. said above, "every good action is worthy of reciprocation".

Michael's life, Deshan's life, Horario's life, just to name a few are evidence of hearts broken open in the name of healing.

Touch your own heart this day and know that you are a part of an insightful revolution! Or better yet, select the 'Donate Now' button and help us meet the growing demand for our programs.

Recent Grants
Bread and Roses Community Foundation - Thank you to the Bread and Roses Community Fund, Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative for their generous grant for general operating support.


Expansion of Restorative Justice Programs in the Los Angeles Area
January 9-14, 2012, IPP sent a team of trainers to the Los Angeles area to facilitate a combined Phase 1 and 2 VOEG Facilitator Training.  The purpose of the training was to seed the capacity of some of our collaborative partners (Homeboy Industries, Loyola Law School Center for Restorative Justice and the Los Angeles Office of Restorative Justice) to support the expansion of VOEG groups at re-entry and incarceration sites in the greater Los Angeles area.  In addition to the training team, there were 19 participants in attendance.  The Lead Trainers were Bryan Smith and Jaimee Karroll and the Trainers in Training were Rita Chairez, George Horan, Karen Jandorf, and Mary Ellen Burton.  A number of the participants at the training will begin to co-facilitate VOEG groups at Homeboys Industries and two correctional facilities (California Institute for Women and California Institute for Men).  IPP is pleased to support the LA expansion efforts and to work with our esteemed colleagues in that area.   A special thank you to Scott Wood, Co-Director of the Center for Restorative Justice at Loyola Law School, and George Horan, Co-Director of the Los Angeles  Office of Restorative Justice for their vision of what VOEG could be in the LA area and for tirelessly working in support of this community partnership.  

If you would like IPP to work in supporting this type of program expansion in your geographic area, please contact us at info@ 

Victim Offender Dialogue Mediator Training (Wed. March 21 - Saturday, March 24, 2012)
This Restorative Justice training will support individuals to develop the skills to become volunteer mediators in order to facilitate dialogues between victims and their offenders in a safe and structured face-to-face meeting. The purpose of facilitated dialogues is to support a transformative process for victims and offenders of severe and violent crime. Click here for more details and to register.

Please note that we changed this to a four day training. The new cost of the training is $900.

Restorative Justice Facilitator Training for Incarcerated Populations

The Insight Prison Project (IPP) is offering our multi-phase Facilitator Training, based on our Restorative Justice Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) model of group facilitation successfully started at San Quentin State Prison. Click here for more details.  

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


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