Valley State Prison California on Track to Becoming U.S. First Fully Trauma-Informed Prison
LOS ANGELES, Calif. /Massachusetts Newswire – National News/ — Compassion Prison Project (CPP) piloted its innovative new series “Trauma Talks,” an educational video program with accompanying workbook this week. CPP’s mission is to create trauma-informed prisons and communities by bringing trauma awareness education and proven healing modalities to the men and women living and working in prison. Statistically, those involved in the prison system have some of the highest number of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) in society.
As part of the “Trauma Talks” launch, on September 7th, 8th, and 9th 2021, CPP hosted an historic event at Valley State Prison (VSP) in California. Over a hundred men living at VSP shared their childhood trauma stories in Compassion Trauma Circles, joined by CPP Founder Fritzi Horstman, California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and 17 volunteers. CPP and Ms. Horstman are best known for the short film Step Inside the Circle, which has reached over 3.5 million viewers with its unprecedented look at childhood trauma behind bars. Dr. Burke Harris’s office has established the bold goal of reducing ACEs and toxic stress by 50 percent within one generation.
The VSP event activities included supportive open discussions, exercises, and lectures. Catalina Villegas, Anchor of Your Weekend on Spectrum News 1, was on-site to capture the event as it unfolded. In addition, CPP provided mentorship training to several incarcerated residents and a specially designed Correctional Officer presentation was also featured for 30+ Correctional Officers.
Every single resident at Valley State Prison (2,900 in total) received the first volume of the “Trauma Talks” workbook and began the curriculum, thanks to the generous donation by one of CPP’s supporters. CPP is on track to establish several other pilot launches of “Trauma Talks” in the United States and around the world by the end of 2021, with the goal of having the entire series available in all prisons by 2023.
The outcome of this event is that Valley State Prison will be the first fully trauma-informed, trauma-responsive prison in the country. With the “Trauma Talks” pilot, CPP has opened the doors for important transformation in the United States Criminal Justice community. The positive impact this educational and emotionally supportive program will have on incarcerated citizens and their families is immeasurable.
“When I found out I was traumatized by my parents and my upbringing, it changed how I felt about myself,” Fritzi Horstman reflected on her way back from Valley State Prison. “I want to share what I’ve learned and make sure every person living in prison understands the principles of trauma, brain science and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) so people can forgive themselves, make amends and begin the healing process, not only for themselves, but for their families and their communities.”
For more information, please contact Melonie McCoy, Media and Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://compassionprisonproject.org/
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Caption: Compassion Prison Project’s Fritzi Horstman & California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris
Compassion Prison Project
Melonie McCoy – Media and Communications Director
Learn More: https://compassionprisonproject.org/
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