Former ‘lifers’ bring success planning to CSATF/SP inmates
By Lt. Kevin Huffman, AA/PIO
California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison (CSATF/SP)
Those serving life sentences were given some hope by others who have walked their path.
Inmates at CSATF/SP had the opportunity to participate in a presentation given by Anti-Recidivism Collation (ARC) representatives. These representatives each shared their life sentence story as their audience recorded the experience.
The ARC is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization founded by Scott Budnick. ARC consists of a support network for formerly incarcerated individuals and advocates for criminal justice reform. ARC’s mission is to reduce incarceration, improve the outcomes of formerly incarcerated individuals, and to build healthier communities.
While each representative shared their personal story, incarcerated inmates could see the light of rehabilitation. Self-help groups, positive inmate programming and a plan of success was echoed throughout the presentation.
“I wanted the individuals from the ARC to share their success with my inmate population. I also thought it was good for those going before the Board of Parole Hearings to have a better understanding of how to prepare for the hearing, as well as what to expect when they parole,” said Facility Capt. A. Williams. “ARC assists, not only with lifers but with those who have EPRDs (earliest possible release dates). Overall it was a great success among the inmate population who appreciated ARC for taking the time to come and speak to them.”
Chief Deputy Warden T. Cisneros stated, “I believe the inmate population received the message well. They hear stories of life sentences being overturned and this opportunity enabled them to see it with their own eyes. Each ARC spokesperson was able to reach different individuals in different ways and some could relate to their story. It all boiled down to the roots of rehabilitation today. These men were leaders in their eyes and it enabled them to act by heavy felt statements such as; ‘if anyone is going to get you out; it’s going to be you’.”