"Within one year, a third of those released from prison are back inside. Within three years, two-thirds have returned to prison. To me that says more about the failure of prisons, parole supervision, and reentry programs than it does about the failure of individuals."
-Eddie Ellis, formerly incarcerated founder of the Center for NuLeadership, quoted in The Sun, July 2013
While opinions abound on how to best address the issue of recidivism in our prison system, consensus is growing that we cannot continue with the way things have been.
California has one of the highest rates of recidivism in the nation, an issue that has led to Attorney General Kamala Harris announcing a new state initiative, the Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-Entry, aimed at identifying the best ways to reduce those numbers.
The practice of Council addresses some of the Criminogenic Factors identified as key to reducing recidivism.
Center for Council has initiated a pilot program, currently underway at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) in Soledad, California, to train inmates in Council. Those participants will then lead other inmates in the practice as many prepare to reenter society.
A larger initiative is currently in development, which will expand the program being piloted at SVSP to other prisons and increase our community-based network of partners offering Council groups to the formerly incarcerated in the neighborhoods to which they will be returning.