A program aimed at helping prisoners overcome anger issues held its first graduating class for 30 men.
Called Guiding Rage Into Power, or GRIP, is a self-help program for changing lives.
“I think it’s a wonderful experience, being here to see him, I’m very proud of him,” said Janet Buckley, mother of Michael Tyler, one of the graduates at the November graduation. “I really enjoy seeing the progress he’s making. All the programs he’s taking inside, he can take out into society,” added Doris Earsery, Tyler’s aunt.
The violence-prevention, emotional-intelligence, and life-skills program was developed by Jacques Verduin. The 52-week program teaches offenders how to understand and transform violent behavior and replace it with an attitude that helps them comprehend the origins of anger. Participants develop skills to track and manage strong impulses before they are acted out in destructive ways.
A major component of the program is that it functions as a peer education model, where experienced students co-facilitate the classes and mentor newer students. Students sign a pledge to become a non-violence person and peacemaker.
Verduin said GRIP gives the community more direct involvement in how justice is administered through its connection to offenders.
“I’m here to learn more and it looks like an important program for inmates to do good work and work on themselves,” said author Lindsey Crittendon. His book, The Water Will Hold You, tells the story about how he came to terms with the murder of this brother.
The GRIP approach as been developed over 17 years of working with thousands of prisoners, mostly at San Quentin State Prison.
“We are not hiding or running. We’ve stopped that. We are no longer a problem we are a part of the solution,” said facilitator Robin Guillen.
GRIP is recognized by the Marin Probation Department as a program that meets the needs of parolees who must take a 52-week court-ordered domestic violence program before release to the community. It also is able to certify prisoners as facilitators of domestic violence prevention as a job skill.
GRIP facilitators are Robin Guillen, John Neblett, Richard Poma, and Randy Maluenda
List Of Graduates: Edward C. Ballenger, Gordon L. Brown, Sr., Derrick Cooper, Michael Endres, Robert D. Frye, Eddie D. Herena, Bernard Moss, Arlyis Peters, Alexi Ruiz, Michael Tyler, Dominique Whitaker, Borey Ai, David Baker, Travis Banks, Eric Boles, Gary Calhoun, Bruce Cooper, Andrew Gazzeny, Richard Honea, Stephen Yar Liebb, Alton McSween, A. Terrell Merritt, Vaughn Miles, Edgar Moore, Jr., Kevork Parsakrian, Dave Robinson, Ron G. Self, Darryll Sherman, Perry Simpson, Phang Nou Thao, and Binh Vo.
More information is available at Insight-Out: P.O. Box 888, Woodacre, CA 94973, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.insight-out.org.