Robin Casarjian speaks to Self-Awareness and Recovery group inmates
By Lt. Matthew Osborn, AA/Public Information Officer
Valley State Prison
A Boston-based self-help author is visiting prisons across California and she recently spoke to inmates at Valley State Prison (VSP).
Robin Casarjian, author of the book “Houses of Healing,” came to VSP to observe and be recognized for her teachings. She was hosted by Self-Awareness and Recovery (SAR), an Inmate Leisure Time Activity Group at the prison.
SAR uses a “model of transformation” to assist inmates in recovery. This model is a four-stage process to help offenders identify and heal from the childhood experiences fueling criminal behavior, according to those with the program.
A few inmates demonstrated what SAR does by holding some group exercises. The first exercise involved participants looking into a mirror and defining who they were.
Other participants were given masks and asked to describe their fears and insecurities beneath the masks. Another presentation involved inmates speaking to an empty chair as if their inner child was sitting in it. The last presentation had an inmate visualize his victim in the chair and speak about the remorse he felt towards the memory of his victim.
Casarjian was visiting several prisons to observe “Houses of Healing” (HOH) and SAR inmate-facilitated programs within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Casarjian spoke of the power of forgiveness, meditation, ego-based thinking and the golden rule of “be gentle with yourself.” The author is dedicated to providing “Houses of Healing” books to inmates at no cost.
She continues to be an inspiration of hope and healing to prisoners all across the country, according to those with the program.
At the conclusion, members of SAR presented Casarjian with a certificate of appreciation. She said she was touched by the testimonies of the inmates at VSP.
(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)
Learn more about the book, https://lionheart.org/prison/houses_of_healing/