Restorative Justice (RJ) philosophy and practices are at the heart of CP4I’s work to promote healing and re-build community. Carried out among persons who are serving prison time, CP4I’s RJ programs reflect our commitment to respecting personhood and promoting greater wholeness while facilitating development of accountability, empathy, self-understanding, remorse, and forgiveness.
In partnership with Insight Prison Project, Healing Hearts Restoring Hope, and incarcerated individuals trained in RJ, CP4I’s Rev. Nora Jacob, Restorative Justice Director, has provided facilitation for small-group cohorts of men at the California Institution for Men in Chino, CA, since 2014. [NOTE: This work is currently on hold since COVID-19 closed the prisons to all but staff members.]
Using an intensive curriculum known as Victim-Offender Education Group, or VOEG, these two-hour sessions take place weekly for a minimum of one year (and more often closer to two years). The VOEG curriculum is one of just a few to hold “milestone” status with CDCR because of its effectiveness in reducing recidivism and changing lives for the better.
CP4I has also facilitated post-VOEG graduate groups of RJ participants seeking to continue their work of recovery and making amends. We have helped to develop Next Step and Our Journey to Healing curriculum emphasizing deeper personal and group work on trauma, early childhood development, forgiveness, and accountability. We have also co-facilitated a three-session class called The Ripple Effect of Harm and Healing (created by our colleagues at Healing Hearts Restoring Hope).
Rev. Nora has provided support, education, and resources once a month since late 2018 for a self-help group, called Cultural Awareness, Gender Education or C.A.G.E. that was developed by a group of LGBTQI incarcerated men and trans women in two of CIM’s facilities.
Statistics show that 95% of all who are incarcerated will one day return to their communities.
CP4I’s in-prison work has reached hundreds of individuals whose lives have been interrupted by incarceration.