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IPP Expands Work with Women in Prisons, Jails and Re-entry Programs Across California

With more and more women re-entering the community and returning to their families, IPP recognizes that there is a growing need for effective rehabilitative programming for women prior to and upon their release from prison/jail.

Over this past year, with funding from the Agnes Varis Trust and donors like you, the Insight Prison Project has  successfully expanded our Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) program  in women's prisons  across California. This expansion includes three classes at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin (including IPP's first class in Spanish), two classes at the Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, and one group at a residential treatment program in South San Francisco. Although women and girls are only a small percentage of the overall prison population, their numbers have grown exponentially over the past 30 years. IPP is committed to expanding our programs for women and girls as part of our recognition of the importance of working with AB 109 and other re-entry initiatives. 


In the next year, with renewed support from the Agnes Varis Foundation, we will continue to facilitate transformative restorative-justice based groups at these facilities as well as:

  • Working with community-based organizations, including the Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD), A New Way of Life (ANWOL), Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), and the National Network for Women in Prison (NNWP).
  • Establishing at least one class in Yoga/Mindfulness at a women's prison in California, and completing six months of ongoing classes.
  • Supporting the training of at least 10 women prisoners as co-facilitators for VOEG groups to foster their capacity for giving back to their community.

With more and more women re-entering the community and returning to their families, IPP recognizes that there is a growing need for effective rehabilitative programming for women prior to and upon their release from prison/jail.  Women are most often released into the community having received few services to address their pathways to crime and even fewer transitional services, setting them up for failure. By offering women prisoners behavioral rehabilitation programs while incarcerated, IPP staff and volunteers hope to increase the likelihood that these women will re-enter society ready to make positive contributions to their families and their communities.

KALW Radio Segment Features IPP Staff and Volunteers
How does restorative justice work in California? This segment of Your Call (KALW Radio 91.7) talks about programs in California's prisons that bring victims and offenders of violent crimes together in dialogue. How do these programs work? And what can be gained from alternative methods of rehabilitation? Learn more about restorative justice with members of the Insight Prison Project, a nonprofit that works inside San Quentin State Prison. 

  • Sonya Shah, Advocacy Director, Insight Prison Project.
  • Dionne Wilson, Survivor Outreach Coordinator, Californians for Safety and Justice.
  • Jerry Elster, Facilitator, Insight Prison Project. 
Click here to listen to the complete segment of "How does restorative justice work in California"

4th Annual Fall Fundraising Dinner - 
"Beyond the Bars" Was a Huge Success!
fall dinner - susan burton
Keynote speaker
Susan Burton
A very special thank you to everyone that attended our 4th Annual Fall Fundraising Dinner, "Beyond the Bars". The event was an enormous success, filled with moving testimony and community celebration. We were deeply inspired by the words of Susan Burton, our Keynote speaker, who, as Executive Director of A New Way of Life, described her own journey back to recovery and trauma healing and her transformative work in creating a safe space for many formerly incarcerated women to live and heal from their own trauma. We heard Earnest Morgan describe his own experience as a participant in Insight Prison Project's Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) program at San Quentin in beautiful and compelling language, and finally, Dionne Wilson, whose husband, a police officer, was murdered, exhorted us all to be "crime fighters" by working to bring trauma healing programs into all prisons and jails. 
The funds we raise help support an average of 300 men per month inside of San Quentin State Prison who participate in IPP's 20 weekly classes, support our replication efforts into Bay Area County jails and local women's prisons, and enable the men and women we serve to re-enter society as contributing members.
A very big thank you to those who helped make this event a success! 
  • Speakers: Thank you to the wonderful panel of speakers, Susan Burton, Executive Director of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, Ernest Morgan and Dionne Wilson, each of whom helped us share the story of our work. 
  • Table hosts: Alison Davis & Liza Vidergauz, Ellen Barry & Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, East Bay Community Foundation, Karen Jandorf, Susan Lowenberg & Joyce Newstat, Jade Netanya Ullmann, Billie Mizell & Kelly Dermody, Jan and Howard Oringer, Jenny Overman, Radha Stern (in memory of Jaimee Karroll), and the OnePacific Coast Foundation.
  • Event Planning Volunteers: Billie Mizell, Jenny Overman, Julia O'Daly, Beverly Shelby, Roya Khazra, and Austin Lawhead.
  • In-kind donations: Linens donated by Hartman Studio Rentals. Lighting donated by Phoebus Lighting.
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or send a check to:

Insight Prison Project
PO Box 151642
San Rafael, CA 94915
On behalf of the men, women and youth we serve, and the communities that are positively effected as a result, we thank you.

Robert 'Red' Frye
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Tony and Willie
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PO BOX  151642
San Rafael, CA 94915
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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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