Houses of Healing Course for Prisoners offered in Solitary Confinement Units

26/02/20 0

Houses of Healing (Bulk Orders)In 2016, Lionheart was awarded an “Innovative Grant” from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to design and bring the Houses of Healing Self-Study Course to prisoners in the CA Special Housing Units (SHUs) in Pelican Bay, CA State Prison – Corcoran, and the CA Correctional Institution (CCI) – all prisons with large isolation units. (In the past year the SHU in CCI has closed and the number of prisoners in the other SHUs is decreasing.) During the grant period (1/2016-6/2017), 464 prisoners voluntarily registered and participated in The Houses of Healing Self-study Course for Prisoners in the SHU. Course evaluations from 160 participants showed significant positive change and progress.

Pilot Data

Summary of evaluation feedback from 160 participants in the 14-session Houses of Healing Self-Study Course for Prisoners in the SHU. 464 men registered and received the course. The evaluation response rate = 34.4%.

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 improvement.
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.
91% of respondents reported being aware of their “triggers” (people and circumstances that trigger an emotional reaction in oneself), (“most of the time” or “almost always”), since taking the course, compared to 18% 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 at least 3 times a week to almost every day. 50% reported that they practiced yoga from 3 times a week to almost every day.
98% of respondents answered positively when asked how they would rate the course (with 90% rating the course as “very good” or “excellent”).
100% of respondents stated that they would recommend the Houses of Healing Self-study Program to others.

Program Goals/Outcomes include:

Recognizing the importance of using time in segregation in a disciplined, constructive way
Learning and practicing mindfulness meditation, emotional self-regulation, and stress-management techniques
Nurturing a fundamental shift in self-identity to one that is strength-based
Learning cognitive reframing from cognitive-behavioral therapy
Acknowledging, working with, and healing childhood trauma
Transforming anger, resentment, and unhealthy guilt and shame
Understanding and practicing forgiveness
Acknowledging and healing grief
Acknowledging guilt and the impact of crime – taking responsibility for offending behavior – and increasing victim awareness
Learning/practicing some basics of physical exercise and yoga
Nurturing spiritual growth