Central California Women’s Facility self-help group shines light on promoting a better life

By Lt. Brian Davi, A.A., Public Information Officer,
Central California Women’s Facility

Nine inmates at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) graduated from The Lioness Tale Prison Project (LiT-uPP) on Aug. 27.

This was the second advanced class to graduate with participants completing over 96 hours of preparation. The session was led by core LiT-uPP facilitators, who were previous graduates of the program, and Diane Pendola, creator of the LiT-uPP program.

“I am so proud of these women who have found meaning in their lives through this self-help group,” said Warden Deborah K. Johnson. “It is small steps like these that will help each of them re-integrate, one day, back into society as positive contributors to their community.”

At the conclusion of the graduation, each Lioness, now known as Panthers, took a candle from the podium, which had signified their “intentions” to promote a better life inside of CCWF thereby creating a more peaceful environment within the prison setting from the inside out.

Nine inmates at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) graduated from a self-help group intended to help them create a more peaceful environment within the prison setting from the inside out.

Nine inmates at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) graduated from a self-help group intended to help them create a more peaceful environment within the prison setting from the inside out.

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8 Responses

  1. Bill Monday, September 29, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    Congratulations to everyone who has had a hand in making the Lioness Project an on-going success. This is the kind of healing needed to make a true difference in our world. You can see from this photograph an openness on the faces of these inmates that radiates an inner light that this program has kindled and helped to keep burning. I am personally grateful to every warden and administrator who has seen their way to enabling this powerful program. May your visionary actions benefit you and all who surround you. Blessings.

    Kathy Borst

  2. April Seligman Thursday, September 18, 2014 / 7:15 am

    I feel inspired reading about a program for inmates geared toward healing, creating self-awareness, and fostering compassion amongst one another. As a lawyer and aspiring family therapist, I have seen snapshots of both the trauma the system can create as well as the growth which can come from a self-guided practice. Hopefully this is an indicator of a trend toward favoring humanistic, rehabilitative programs in the correctional system instead of ineffectual punitive and retributive measures. Thank you and congratulations to the women who participated in the program, and many thanks and much admiration to those who’ve led, founded and supported this program. I hope to see many more graduates in years to come.

  3. Diane Pendola Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    Thank you Lt. Davi for your article and wonderful photo! Journeying with these women to the depths of our common humanity has been as transformative for me as it has been for them.
    Thank you CCWF for being willing to pilot this new program. My hope is that it will continue to grow and strengthen throughout CCWF and beyond.

  4. Dr. DeAntoni Monday, September 15, 2014 / 2:02 pm

    Glad to hear you are acting in the best interest of yourself and others. Pass it on. We need you out in society being the best you can be. God bless you all.

  5. Shirley DicKard, RN Friday, September 12, 2014 / 4:37 am

    I had the recent honor of driving 5 hours to attend this Lit-uPP graduation. These ladies, and their peer facilitators who had been through the Lit-uPP training program over the last 4-plus years – truly felt lit-up from deep within – with a palpable glow. A strength of this program, and what may set it apart from others, is the women own the process and have been trained to carry it forward peaceably into the prison. The Administration is to be commended for their visionary support of such a healing and strengthening process.

  6. Russell Jensen Wednesday, September 10, 2014 / 9:14 pm

    So progressive, it’s refreshing to see some glimmers of change. I commend any administrators who had the insight to hold a space for fostering self-help and peer support. I look forward to hearing more success stories!

  7. Christine Price Wednesday, September 10, 2014 / 7:35 pm

    It’s been rewarding to be a guest teacher in this high quality program. Thanks to all those who have supported its presence at CCWF over the past 4 years. Your foresight in backing this program is a service to to the women involved and to the public at large.
    Congratulations to all the women who did the hard work of looking at difficulty and opening hearts and minds to new ways of being. And to those who are now teaching this inside, may your efforts bring new possibilities to many others and offer you fulfillment, too.

  8. Sunni K. Harley Wednesday, September 10, 2014 / 4:17 pm

    Would love to be involved in this program.

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