Story by Success Stories youth counseling group
Photo by Lt. Roland Ramon, AA/Public Information Officer
Correctional Training Facility
California State Assembly member Mark Stone represents the 29th District and hails from Monterey Bay, but in early October, he could be found at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) in Soledad.
Success Stories, a youth counseling group under Life C.Y.C.L.E. (Careless Youth Corrected by Lifers’ Experience), hosted a workshop featuring a visit by Assembly member Stone.
While in the California State Assembly, he has introduced a number of bills which impact California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) facilities.
The workshop was the last of 10-consecutive weekly meetings during which inmates 18-35 years old explores their belief systems and the trauma in their lives which led to criminal behavior.
The assignment was to read a 10-year life plan written over the course of the previous week.
Assembly member Stone and two of his public safety staff, as well as two members of the Correctional Training Facility administration, took part in the workshop.
The 50 participants were broken into the small groups they’ve been meeting with throughout the program.
Each guest was assigned to a small group where they listened to the presentations of the prisoners and also shared their own 10-year life plans.
Halfway through the meeting, the guests were rotated to give them a more holistic view of the diverse participants.
Afterward, everybody reassembled into one large group where the guests and participants shared their experiences of the meeting. Then there was a question-and-answer period with Assembly member Stone.
Success Stories is a 20-week, two-phase behavioral-cognitive self-help program for inmates ages 18-35 at CTF. The first phase, which ended with Assembly member Stone’s visit, aims to address the criminal identities and belief systems of participants through 10 trauma therapy small group conversations.
Topics included victim versus responsible mentalities, validation/peer approval and patriarchal masculinity. The second phase is a series of 10 seminars delivered by both inmate experts and outside guests on a variety of work habits and lifestyle topics such as Financial Literacy, Job Training and Time Management.
The goal of phase two is to replace the negative identities of participants with those of productive success driven citizens. This is the second cycle for Success Stories CTF.