Houses of Healing Included in Federal Bureau of Prisons First Step Act List of Programs

federal bop first step act approved programs guide houses fo healing recidivism

Lionheart’s program for incarcerated adults, Houses of Healing, was recently included in the Approved Programs Guide published by the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons (DOJ, BOP). The guide was created as a result of the First Step Act of 2018, which aims to require the BOP to implement more sentencing and prison reforms. Houses of Healing is listed among other approved, standardized prison programs.

Passed in 2018, the First Step Act is a promising step in the direction of criminal justice reform. The law incorporates measures intended to place a greater focus on rehabilitation, reentry, and recidivism reduction. The First Step Act increases accessibility to prison programming, providing incarcerated individuals with the skills needed to succeed upon release.  

Houses of Healing is a powerful trauma-informed intervention that teaches critical social and emotional skills to incarcerated individuals. Social emotional learning is consistent with the concept of emotional intelligence, which is the ability to monitor one’s feelings and emotions, and to use that information to guide thinking and actions. These skills are integral to a productive reentry into the community, the foremost goal of the First Step Act. 

In the month of June, The Lionheart Foundation has seen purchases of the Houses of Healing book rise significantly as a result of the promotion from the First Step Act. By giving prisons the option to select a program such as Houses of Healing, participants are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to create positive changes in their lives, whether inside or outside of prison.

While not specifically mentioned in the report from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Making Time Count, our newly-released self-study program designed to be used in conjunction with Houses of Healing, is also available through funding via the First Step Act. As a self-study program, Making Time Count provides high-quality programming which is brought about more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The independent nature of the program allows even more people to participate – all it requires is a modest reading level, a writing utensil, and a willingness to engage in rehabilitative programming. It is our hope that our programs continue to be implemented in ways that allow for substantial change and reformation of the most vulnerable. 

For more information on the Houses of Healing program, click here.


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