Standing, from left, are Eugene Ruiz, Burt Crismore, Jesus Castillo, Jose Garcia, Julio Falcon, Patrick Richardson, Saahdi Coleman, Raul Garcia, Joe Tobar, Alex Beaver, Bryan Sheneman, James Mussleman, Ben Lee and Alex Dixon. Kneeling, from left, are Steven Coleman, Lloyd Velasquez, Francisco Ramos, Ahmad Booker, Garret Garwood and Randy Wallis.

By Randy Wallis, Staff Sponsor, and Therese Giannelli, CRM

Volunteers from Celebrate Recovery Inside (CRI) hosted its first graduation on B-Facility at California State Prison, Sacramento (CSP-SAC) to celebrate the completion of an eight-month program.

Ministry leaders Alex Beaver, Garrett Garwood, Bryan Sheneman, and Burt Crismore from Green Valley Church, have been conducting weekly classes at CSP-SAC and were thrilled to commemorate the completion of the program for 15 inmates.

CRI is a faith-based recovery program that uses the traditional 12 steps of recovery.  CRI supports each step with biblical text and principles and is aimed at recovery from all “hurts, habits, and hang-ups.” The CRI program includes intensive study and journaling out of the CRI workbook. At the weekly group meeting, a lesson was completed with every attendee actively participating. The group received great support from administration and custody staff during the eight-month program.

The CSP-SAC inaugural group started in June 2016, and an additional group began on the A-Facility in September 2016. The recent group of graduates will continue to meet to reinforce and practice what they have learned.

“The program has had a profound impact in my life; I never would have imagined the spiritual growth that took place in me while completing the course. Not only has it restored my relationship with God, it also brought me closer to my family and made me a better man,” said Raul Garcia, one of the participants.

Saahdi Coleman, another participant, said, “The greatest benefit of Celebrate Recovery Inside in my life was the relationships formed with God, the sponsors, and the other men in the group.”

Alex Beaver, Ministry Leader, said the group was cooperative throughout the process.

“The participants in this group were always very thankful for our time,” Beaver said. “I hope they understand what they have done for our lives.”

Joe Tobar, another participant, said the program is helping make him a better person.

“It has meant a great deal to me in my growth as a better husband and father,” he said. “It has restored my faith and my relationship with God. It has given me insight into past negative behavior and has led me down the road to recovery.”