Self-Determination in Rehabilitation

pen on top of spiral bound notebook
pen on top of spiral bound notebook
Fountain Pen on Spiral Book by text

by Dortell Williams

While separated by the maze of concertina wire and deadly electrified fences ensuring our stay, our vision for Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, in Blythe, CA, mirrored one another.

In 2021 Kenthy Porter and an associate were on Facility-B formulating the Literacy Support Network (LSN), an education-based program that is designed to connect peer learners with mentors and teachers.

With the nod of the prison administration and the Education Department, LSN was approved on Facility-B and thrives. It was upon Mr. Porter’s transfer to Facility-C that we met and hit it off.

I was in the final stages of developing what became the Chuckwalla Community for Change (CCC), a 12-week self-development course. Our ideas for self-determination in rehabilitation actually complimented each other. While the LSN concentrates on academics, CCC focuses on personal transformation through cognitive behavioral intervention modalities.

LSN is life/employment prep., complimented by amends. LSN supports basic reading and writing — for English and English as a second language speakers.

CCC offers, among others, emotional intelligence, pro-social thinking, (including amends), and effective communication.

These peer support courses make prison more peaceful, and society safer when we inevitably return to society.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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