By Lt. Virginia Carr, PIO/AA

Central California Women’s Facility

Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) inmates participated in intense three-day training to prevent violence, which was written and presented by Dr. Stephanie S. Covington, a nationally recognized clinician, author, organizational consultant, and lecturer.

The Beyond Violence Program (BVP) is a 40-hour, evidence-based, gender-responsive, trauma-informed treatment program specifically developed for women who have committed a violent crime and are incarcerated in prison.  The training is designed to help these women look at the impact of violence in their lives and to create an opportunity to make changes to prevent violence in the future, whether in prison or within the community.

BVP consists of Phases I, II and III. Phase I included an intense training presented to the Site Facilitator(s), 12 Inmate Peer Facilitators, and CCWF Management staff, which included Warden D. K. Johnson.

Phases II and III of training include the Site Facilitator and the 12 Inmate Peer Facilitators, and involves 20 two-hour sessions than began Jan. 28.

The Inmate Peer Facilitators were eager to launch this new program at CCWF and are looking forward to a new chapter in their lives where they can use their training and skills.

Many of the inmate facilitators are grasping a better understanding of their own behaviors and that of their peers.

Each potential Inmate Peer Facilitator(s) was required to meet criteria and participate in a standardized interview process.  Once the inmates were interviewed, the 12 most qualified inmates were selected to be Inmate Peer Facilitators.

Warden Johnson addressed the group and expressed her excitement of this new program.

Warden Johnson said: “This is a great opportunity for each inmate facilitator to be part of this new program.”

Warden Johnson also expressed she is aware BVP has been successful in other states and is looking forward to launching BVP and the benefits the inmate population will reap from this program.

BVP is divided into four areas which will guide the inmates in understanding important issues relating to violence in their lives, both inside and outside the program group. After 19 sessions, inmate participants will have new experiences and learn new ways of looking at the world.

CCWF warden and others

From left, Warden D. K. Johnson, Facilitator Velda Dobson-Davis, Dr. Stephanie S. Covington, Community Resources Manager (A) Lilly Dawson, and Chief Deputy Warden Sonja Bodiford.

CCWF beyond violence

Dr. Stephanie S. Covington presents an anti-violence program to inmates.