By Adam Jennings, Contributing Writer
At Avenal State Prison, the “Timeless” group is helping its incarcerated population explore the question “Can we grow into the men we want to be?”
“Timeless” is a long-term offenders group that is held in the prison’s A Facility. The group aims to give the men insight through exercises such as gathering information from their formative years in an effort to better understand how the men became who they were and are and how they arrived in prison.
The participants have a chance to gain awareness as they apply these exercises to their lives and current mindsets in regard to a vast array of criminal topics.
Today, post Prop. 57, the reality is that some individuals are attending self help groups just for R.A.C. (Rehabilitative Achievement Credits), rather than a true desire for introspection and change.
The “Timeless” program seeks to change this thought process. The group provides the skills to apply new knowledge to old ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. The program helps the men produce new constructive beliefs, manners and habits, instead of just simply going through the motions of being there.
The program goal is to help the participants improve themselves, the community and ultimately earn a parole date.
It’s no easy task. But the group members are striving to be pillars of their current society. They are sharing what they have learned and also carrying themselves with an ever evolving sense of positivity and encouragement.
The “Timeless” members and facilitators understand that the only way they can grow into the men they want to be, is by fundamentally improving themselves. This can be accomplish by altering and improving themselves on a daily basis. Then true change can manifest, giving their families and friends the men they deserve.
The group believes through hard work and dedication they can develop a community where this is both possible and celebrated.
Thanks go out to Rosemary Ndoh, program co-facilitators James lynch and Manuel Rincon, all group members and staff sponsor, Lisa Robitaille.
It is through the service of all participating members that positivity is spread. Where they used to sow destruction, now, through their changes, they are setting good examples for future generations; breaking their own personal cycles of imprisonment with the realization that there is no right way to be wrong.
The hope is that the lasting effect of these changes will be felt long after they depart. A legacy that will truly be….TIMELESS.