Mindfulness-based Programming at San Quentin: Turning Violence and Suffering Into Gateways for Learning and Healing
Time/location: 12:45-2 p.m. on Monday, October 14 in Room 110, Boalt Hall
For more than fifteen years, psychologist Jacques Verduin has launched widely-praised, transformational programs at San Quentin and other California prisons. In programs like Guiding Rage Into Power (GRIP), incarcerated men learn to stop their violence, develop emotional intelligence, cultivate mindfulness, and understand victim impact. They develop behavior inspired by insight, accountability, and compassion as a way of breaking the cycle of incarceration that is reinforced by structural race and class inequalities.
Through meditation and other techniques, the men learn to transform their own behavior and become Peacekeepers, people with skills to defuse conflicts around them. These programs, led by crime victims, community volunteers and prisoners themselves, harness a restorative justice approach to heal all those affected by violent crime.
In this presentation, Verduin, Director of Insight-Out and founder of Insight Prison Project, will be joined by Alton McSween and Dominick Withaker, two men who have practiced mindfulness at San Quentin, to discuss the impact of these programs at San Quentin and other prisons, and their potential to create broader institutional change in the American corrections system.
Refreshments will be served.