San Quentin from afar 

Insight Prison Project Welcome's
New Executive Director, Ellen M. Barry!

The Insight Prison Project Board of Directors is pleased to announce the arrival of Ms Ellen M. Barry as the new Executive Director of Insight Prison Project, effective immediately.


Ellen Barry has worked as an advocate for criminal justice, racial justice and human rights for over 35 years. She founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), a non-profit organization which has advocated on behalf of incarcerated parents, their children and family members and was executive director of that organization from 1978 to 2001. From 2002 to 2012, she worked as a consultant on criminal justice and other human rights issues. She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a US-based movement which challenges the growth of the prison industrial complex and its detrimental effect on education, health and human services. She serves as an activist representative for the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), as co-chair of the board of the National Network for Women in Prison (NNWP), and as a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project Advisory Board. 


She is a former member of the California State Bar Section on the Delivery of Legal Services, past co-chair of the State Bar Committee on Legal Services for Prisoners, and served on the Statewide Commission on Female Inmates and Parolees (SCR 33 Commission which issued statewide report on women in California prisons, 1992). She has written and spoken extensively on issues affecting prisoners, their children and family members. In 1997, she received a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship to work on behalf of prisoners, their children and family members. In 1998, she was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. In 2005 and again in 2007, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize along with 999 other women activists around the world.  


Jennie K. Curtis, who supported IPP during its founder transition, will continue her service to women in both state and federal prisons as a Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) facilitator and as a spiritual director.

Ellen Barry
A Note from Ellen M. Barry

Greetings to all of the wonderful supporters, volunteers, participants and friends of IPP! I have only been with IPP for a few short weeks and already I am filled with gratitude and excitement about the opportunity to join this amazing staff and do this rich, transformative work. Since I came on board, I have been to the book signing for Nancy Mullane's Life After Murder, where Nancy and the five men featured in the book spoke eloquently about their experiences; attended a film showing co-sponsored by IPP of "Music from the Big House" with the Canadian "Queen of the Blues", Rita Chiarelli and men at Angola Prison; participated in an energetic coalition meeting of volunteers, staff and facilitators of prisoner support programs; and joined the talented staff of IPP for several VOEG (Victim Offender Education Groups) and events at San Quentin. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the IPP Board members, staff, volunteers, contractors, donors and, of course, the "Men in Blue", and very much look forward to meeting and working with all of the members of this very special and dedicated community. I am so fortunate that our outgoing executive director, Jennie Curtis, has done such excellent work in the past several years to bring IPP to where it is today, and I look forward to working with our current staff and volunteers to continue to strengthen and grow this jewel of an organization.

Challenge Grant Update - We Are Almost There!
As of Monday, June 25th, we have raised just over $25,500 towards our $30,000  Challenge Grant campaign! A very big and heart felt thank you to everyone that has already made a donation. For more information, please click here.

Please click the link below to donate at least $100 before June 30, 2012 and double your impact. This includes recurring donations so a donation of only $10 a month will secure IPP a $120 match!

Network for Good Donate Button 
You can also send a check to: 

Insight Prison Project
PO Box 151642
San Rafael, CA 94915

IPP Expands Into Two California Women's Prisons
IPP is pleased to be expanding to Central California Women's Facility with the start of not one but two Victim Offender Education Groups (VOEG).

The jump starting of this project, which is primarily volunteer driven, has been made possible by The Agnes Varis Trust.
Agnes Varis, for whom the Trust is named, was a passionate, active person with an unabated commitment to social consciousness and the welfare of women.

The 2010-11 pilot project at the Federal Correctional Institute for Women has also resulted in an expansion.  This month two new VOEG groups will begin, both with peer facilitators from the
pilot group.  This expansion is also primarily volunteer driven.  One of the two groups will be for Spanish speakers.  A wonderful volunteer (a retired professional translator) has stepped forward to translate our curriculum - a rather major undertaking.

IPP is deeply grateful to the Varis Trust for their support of our expansion of services to women, and to the five extraordinary women (facilitators and translator) selflessly serving incarcerated women who are eager to develop behavior inspired by insight, accountability and compassion.

To learn more about becoming a VOEG facilitator, please click here.  

Responsibility, Rehabilitation & Restoration: A Symposium on Crime, Punishment and the Common Good in California
The purpose of this statewide event, sponsored by the California Catholic Conference, is to convene those affected by the criminal RRR Image justice system, from victims to offenders to criminal justice professionals to Church and public leaders from various faith perspectives. We will gather to discuss how to transform society's response to crime from a paradigm of retribution and punishment toward one of rehabilitation, restoration and reconciliation. We will also focus on specific calls to actions for all these members of the community.

Jaimee Karroll, IPP's Training, Education, Curriculum and Replication Director, and VOEG Facilitator, will be participating in the panel discussion titled, "Voices of Community Organizations Sharing Best Practices and Emerging Models". The panel will address how communities can empower themselves and partner with government agencies to implement restorative justice practices.

For more information and to register, click here.
Our Work
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.


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


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