The Prison Project
The National Emotional Literacy Project for Prisoners
At the core of The Lionheart Foundation’s National Emotional Literacy Project for Prisoners is the Houses of Healing Program, a powerful 13-session rehabilitation curriculum (books, facilitator manual, and video series) created specifically for prisoners and the formerly incarcerated. The centerpiece of this program is the book Houses of Healing: A Prisoners Guide to Inner Power and Freedom (160,000 copies in circulation) in state and federal prisons as well as larger county jails nationwide. Houses of Healing (HOH) is a research driven, cognitive-behavioral, emotional literacy (re)habilitation curriculum designed to offer skillful guidance and equip prisoners with the tools to effectively manage emotions, take stock of and heal the trauma that often underlies criminal behavior, take responsibility for offending behavior, and change the life-long patterns of violence and addiction in order to build productive lives.
Houses of Healing is being taught by hundreds of corrections professionals, chaplains, prison volunteers, and increasingly by mature long-term prisoners within prisons, jails and reentry programs in the U.S. and abroad. The program can be used on its own, or to complement other existing prison counseling efforts such as alcohol and drug recovery, stress and anger management, and life skills development. Houses of Healing has proven successful in group classes, one on one counseling, and individually by prisoners who often have access to the book, Houses of Healing: A Prisoner’s Guide to Inner Power and Freedom , through the prison library.
Many corrections professionals report that Houses of Healing is the most effective program they have seen for prisoner growth and transformation. Many prison chaplains embrace the program because it is infused with an inclusive spirituality. This is particularly the case in multi-faith contexts. Inmates gain greater self-awareness, the capacity to manage their emotions, empathize with the feelings of others, and increase their spiritual development through, among other things, mindfulness meditation. Thousands of lives are being uplifted through the guidance and inspiration that this prisoner education and rehabilitation program offers.
The massive prison population is a major national crisis. Taking a proactive stance, Lionheart is committed to playing an integral part in redefining our nation’s prisons as places for healing and positive growth. More than 160,000 copies of the book, Houses of Healing, are now in circulation. Approximately half of these have been distributed free of charge to prison and jail libraries, prison programs, and individual prisoners nationwide.