By Lance Eshelman, Community Resources Manager (A)
Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
In early spring, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) rolled out the red carpet for Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s (ARC) founder Scott Budnick and founding board member of the Innocence Project, Jason Flom. In efforts to nurture positive cultural change and create hope among our residents, Budnick and Flom hit the yards. They met with residents that actively mentor their peers and seek progress from the inside out.
Budnick shared his passion for Proposition 57 with residents, leaving them with a sense of restored hope. Approved on Nov. 8, 2016, Proposition 57 has been successfully awarding non-violent offenders with rehabilitation credits towards their parole consideration. One resident exclaimed, “What Scott Budnick is doing for the California Criminal Justice System is revolutionary.”
Budnick was very glad he met with one particular resident who has shown tremendous progress since rehabilitative programs were highlighted in Proposition 57. He was able to speak with this individual in the visiting room during a visit with his family. The inmate’s family was overjoyed to hear their loved one was being recognized for his rehabilitation efforts in such a powerful way.
“Scott’s work is very important. We at ARC mentor the population to stop looking at the guards and administrators as ‘them versus us,’ and focus on building a healthy community and coming home to (their) families,” said local ARC Program Facilitator David Amaya.