Evidenced-based Power Source Program

18/03/19 0

The Power Source Program was created to empower youth at-risk with the social, emotional, and behavioral skills associated with paths of healthy development and permanent disengagement from the prison pipeline.

This evidence-based and widely embraced program helps adolescents learn effective strategies to manage challenging emotions, reduce engagement in interpersonal violence, heal from histories of trauma, discover alternative coping strategies to substance abuse, while equipping them with the skills that promise success in school, the workplace, and in the larger world.

Recently, The Power Source Program, was accepted into CrimeSolutions.gov, an evidence-based repository which serves as a clearinghouse of information about what works and what has been identified as promising in justice programs and practices. The CrimeSolutions.gov project, overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, reviewed the existing research literature to identify “effective, quality programs and practices in the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victimization to serve as evidence-based models for the field.”

In addition to being listed in Crime Solutions, The Power Source program will also be included in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide.

Lionheart’s Power Source Program / Promising Justice Program, Practice

13/03/19 0

In March of 2019 The Power Source Program was accepted into CrimeSolutions.gov, an evidence-based repository which serves as a clearinghouse of information about what works and what has been identified as promising in justice programs and practices. The CrimeSolutions.gov project, overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, reviewed the existing research literature to identify “effective, quality programs and practices in the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victimization to serve as evidence-based models for the field.”

In addition to being listed in Crime Solutions, The Power Source program will also be included in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide.

Lionheart’s Houses of Healing Program on Death Row

11/03/19 0

The Houses of Healing Self-Study Program for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement: The Lionheart Foundation has delivered the Houses of Healing Program to hundreds of prisoners in the (solitary confinement) at two CA prisons. Death row inmates at CA’s San Quentin prison are also in solitary confinement and Lionheart is now offering the program there as well. To date, 35 men on death row have participated. Feedback from the men in both the SHU and death row implores us to keep offering the program even though it is no longer funded by the CDCR. Word of mouth by the prisoners and enthusiastic endorsement by staff keep requests coming in.

“I recommend [this course to others] because it not only teaches you how to interact with yourself, it also contains exercises that develop the skills you need. One of the things I didn’t appreciate in my life was when people said I should change, but then wouldn’t show me how. I’m not saying my behavior was anyone’s fault, but how do you ask a blind person to describe the color blue if they’ve never seen it? How can you? – they have no point of reference. Same philosophy applies when asking someone to think in new ways. San Quentin Death Row Houses of Healing has been a turning point in my journey. It has helped me heal and for that I am extremely grateful… I can go on and on about how it’s impacted me but if I had to break it down to one word I would say I feel purified. Pelican Bay State Prison SHU, CA

Social Security Disability Benefits and Prison

29/10/18 0

Submitted by:  Eric Minghella


If you or someone you love is incarcerated and on Social Security disability benefits, it’s likely your benefits will be affected while you’re serving your sentence. Thousands of people on Social Security disability serve prison sentences just like the able-bodied population, so the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resources available for people on disability benefits who go to prison. Here’s how your monthly benefits will be affected when you serve time:
Do You Keep Receiving Benefits?
You will not continue to receive benefits if you’re in prison for 30 days or longer, but it’ll be easy to reinstate benefits once you’re released. Those on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) qualify for rapid reinstatement as soon as they’re released, so long as the status of your disability hasn’t changed. Those on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will also be eligible for rapid reinstatement, so long as they weren’t incarcerated for over a year. After 12 months, you’ll need to reapply for SSI once you’re released.
The good news is if you’re on SSDI benefits and you have a dependent family member receiving additional benefits on your behalf, such as a spouse or a minor child, they’ll continue to receive their monthly payments while you’re in prison.
What About Health Insurance?
Most people on SSDI or SSI will be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid respectively. Those on Medicare Part A will maintain health insurance eligibility without any interruptions. Those on Medicare Part B will lose Part B of their benefits unless they continue to pay their monthly premiums.
Medicaid is a little trickier because it’s awarded on a state-by-state basis. You’ll need to contact your local Medicaid office to ensure you’ll remain enrolled in the plan, but you can get a referral form to provide to your local social services office from the SSA’s website.
When Can I Reapply?
The best time to reapply to get your disability benefits reinstated is as soon as you receive your prison release records. You may receive this paperwork up to 60 days before you’re actually released from prison. While you won’t be able to receive benefits before you’re released, you can still apply with the release paperwork so the SSA can get started on processing your claim. This is a great way to ensure that your benefits will start as soon as you’re released. If you don’t have a prerelease agreement, you can still start the process as soon as you think you’ll be released.
To get started with reapplying for Social Security disability after you’re released from a correctional facility, you can call the SSA toll free at 1-800-772-1213 or reapply online through your My Social Security Account. A family member can also make an appointment to apply on your behalf at your closest Social Security office. Good times to call the SSA are first thing in the morning (7-8 A.M.), as wait times become very long throughout the day.
Resources Found Via:

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/

https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ssdi/qualify-for-ssdi

Links to guided meditations by Robin Casarjian, The Lionheart Foundation.

15/10/18 0

Meditation is the quiet motor underlying all of the Lionheart Foundation’s social emotional literacy programs to prisoners, highly at risk youth and at risk teen parents nationwide. Lionheart programs are offered in prisons, juvenile institutions, schools and community programming.

Click on the link below to access two guided meditations by Robin Casarjian, Executive Director of the Lionheart Foundation, Boston, MA.

Meditation

 

 

Free Online Prison Volunteer Program

10/10/18 0

Volunteers often play a pivotal role in helping incarcerated men and women turn a corner and truly alter the course of their lives. This free online training will give you a solid overview of the core concepts and teachings in the Lionheart Foundation’s  Houses of Healing Program (HOH).  HOH has met with great success nationwide as it addresses clearly and directly the situations and feelings that almost all incarcerated men and women struggle with. It guides and supports prisoners in confronting issues such as childhood wounding, grieving, managing anger, facing the impact of crime, and taking ultimate responsibility for themselves and their actions. Feedback from volunteers across the country and over decades describes their experience with HOH as being rich and rewarding.  We expect that you will find it deeply rewarding as well.

To learn more, please click on link below.

Free online prison volunteer training.

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Program for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

12/03/18 0

“Houses of Healing (HOH) “We’ve heard about the good results the Houses of Healing course has had in other prisons in boosting morale, lowering violence and promoting development.” -Co-chairs, Spring Creek Restorative Justice Initiative, Alaska

HOH Self-study Program for prisoners in solitary/segregation/SHU: With support from the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) “Innovative Grant Program”, the HOH Self-study Program for Prisoners in Solitary was delivered to 464 men in three SHUs (Special Housing Units) otherwise referred to as isolation units.

The program was offered in Pelican Bay, CSP-Corcoran, and CA Correctional Institution. The following is a summary of the feedback we received, to date, from the 160 participants who completed the course evaluation.

 93% of respondents reported being able to remain in control of their behavior when upset (“most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 18% before the course, with 90% of individual respondents reporting improvement.

 86% of respondents reported being able to handle anger in a positive way, (‘most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 15 % before the course, with 93% of individual respondents reporting improvements.

 91% of respondents reported using healthy ways to make themselves feel better when upset, (“most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 13% before the course, with 89% of individual respondents reporting improvement.

 95% of respondents reported feeling hopeful about life (“most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 29% before the course, with 83% of individual respondents reporting improvement.

 95% of respondents reported the ability to take responsibility for their actions, (“most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 30% before the course, with 86% of individual respondents reporting improvement.

 Among the emotional regulation techniques taught in the course are meditation and yoga. 78% reported that they meditated between three times a week to almost every day.

 100% of respondents stated that they would recommend the Houses of Healing Self-study Program to others.

Lionheart, in conjunction with criminal justice professor Dr. Carolyn Petrosino (Bridgewater State University), is now conducting formal research on the self-study program with new participants in the CDCR. We expect to complete and submit the findings to professional journals in Fall 2018

Learn more about Houses of Healing and Lionheart’s Prison Project.  Click here.

www.lionheart.org

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The Power Source Training: A Program to Prepare Lifers to Facilitate a High Impact Program for Young Prisoners

19/09/17 0

The Lionheart Foundation’s newest Innovative Grant from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) supports The Power Source Training Program: A Program to Prepare Lifers and Long-Termers to Facilitate a High Impact Program for Young Prisoners (18-23).

Robin Casarjian, Lionheart’s Executive Director, visited the two prisons in California where the program is taking place (CSP-Sacramento [new Folsom] and Mule Creek State Prison) to launch the program. She met with an enthusiastic response from more than a hundred lifers and long-termers. This grant involves training lifers and long-termers to deliver a program that integrates both Power Source and Houses of Healing with 18-23 year olds within the prison system. Because there were many more registrants than there were opportunities for participation, final registration was determined through a lottery. The training is an enormous gift to lifers who see no possibility of being released and to those who have many years to serve in front of them. The program opens the door to doing something of significant meaning where they can make a potential life-changing difference for the younger men, many of whom will be released. Lionheart has also applied for and received CDCR research approval for this program to gather data on the impact of the training for both the prisoner-facilitators and the young men.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Transformative Programming for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement: The Houses of Healing Self-Study Program

18/09/17 0

The Lionheart Foundation’s Houses of Healing (HOH) program has had a life-changing impact for thousands of the men and women involved in the criminal justice system.  In 2016, Lionheart created an unprecedented 14-session program based on HOH – The Houses of Healing Self-study Course for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement that has been piloted, with great success, to prisoners in three Supermax prisons in CA over the past year.  Lionheart is moving forward to promote the program to prison systems in additional states.

In solitary, there is usually no programming available and prisoners naturally degrade psychologically.  Research indicates that the prolonged isolation associated with solitary confinement adversely impacts individuals’ physical and mental health.  The HOH Self-study Course for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement proposed herein will not only offer a connection to the larger world with weekly mailings over a period of four months, but will also deliver a program shown to reduce depression, anxiety and anger, the psychological symptoms associated with solitary confinement, while bolstering emotional competency skills.

More than 450 prisoners confined to solitary confinement in the CA prison system (referred to as Special Housing Units or the SHU in CA) registered voluntarily to participate in the course, reflecting the enormous need and desire for support.  There have been 160 evaluations returned from the CA prisoners thus far. 100% of these prisoners indicated that they would recommend the program to others. The vast majority indicated having a greater sense of hopefulness, gaining practical skills to manage the intense stress of solitary, and gaining insights that are helping them heal from both the trauma of solitary and what is usually a trauma-impacted early life. The profound impact of the pilot study on these prisoners has led to the approval by the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for Lionheart to recruit additional prisoners and carry out a formal research project in 2017-2018.

Most of these prisoners will be released back into society.  The goal of this program is to offer these men and women effective tools needed to cope with their experience in prison, but also to give them the support they need to facilitate successful reentry into society, positively impacting these returning citizens, their families, and the greater community.

Power Source Parenting: A program for teen parents from the Lionheart Foundation

04/09/17 0

The Lionheart Foundations’s Power Source Parenting is a cutting edge program designed to give teen parents the guidance and skills they need to be loving, effective parents and raise healthy children. The centerpiece of the program is the book, Power Source Parenting: Growing Up Strong and Raising Healthy Kids and The Power Source Parenting Facilitator’s Manual written by Dr. Bethany Casarjian, Clinical Director of Lionheart’s youth projects and co-author of Power Source.

This theory-driven  intervention provides the opportunity to impact the lives of thousands of teen parents as well as their children and future generations. There are a number of excellent parenting curricula, but none that are, like Power Source Parenting, skill-based in terms of young mothers’ own emotional regulation.  In Power Source Parenting young parents learn highly effective skills to manage stress and anger, while reducing risk-behavior such as substance abuse and interpersonal violence in order to be more emotionally available and nurturing parents. Taking control of one’s own emotional responses is the first step in modeling and teaching these skills to one’s child.

Power Source Parenting draws on well-established interventions such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Training, as well as proven parenting programs such as Parent Management Training.

In keeping with Lionheart’s goal to establish its curricula as evidence-based, clinical staff have completed a pilot study with teen parents in group homes under the auspices of the MA Department of Children and Families.  Results from this study are complete and very promising.  Consequently, our research team at NYU was awarded another grant from the National Institutes of Health to further research Power Source Parenting.

Teen mothers who participated in the pilot reported significant increases in positive parenting attitudes including appropriate developmental and parenting expectations, empathic awareness of their child’s needs, and decreased endorsement of corporal punishment.  The young mothers demonstrated gains in parenting sensitivity and attunement, greater levels of parenting competence, increased levels of attachment to their children, greater levels of perceived support from their partners, and improved knowledge of parent/child roles.

Our agency has been providing case management and support services to adolescent parents and their children for over 22 years.  We have reviewed and utilized numerous resource materials over this period,  including books, brochures, pamphlets, videos, DVDs, etc.  I have never come across a resource that has been so universally accepted and embraced by my staff as Power Source Parenting.
– Director, Adolescent and Family Services, Fresno, CA

I am as happy with this parenting book as I was when receiving the Power Source materials!  These resources have basically become the only materials we utilize.  I am currently working with 10 high-risk teens both male and female who are expecting babies this year.  Thank you for making these resources available to providers…
– Phoenix Treatment Center, Iowa

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