Mule Creek State Prison
Self Exploration through Writing (SEW)
an Introduction and Overview Fall 2011
What is SEW
SEW to repair the fabric if torn lives.
What does this mission statement mean? It means taking the first step in repairing the
holes crime has ripped the fabric of the lives of victims, their families, offenders and
their families. This first step starts with offenders examining the thinking and behavior
witch resulted in their crminal behavior. For many their committing offense was the
tipping point of a life time of bad decisions resulting from maladaptive thinking. The first
stitch begins with changing that thinking.
Current inmate participation in MCSP rehabilitative programming, such as Criminals and
Gangs Anonymous (CGA), Alcoholic anonymous (AA), Narcotic anonymous (NA), and
Victim Awareness Offender's Program (VAOP) demonstrates the willingness of inmates
to seek and utilize the available self-help programs.
However, any requirement for written activities is restricted to the confines of the
program philosophy and is often viewed as "compulsory by those who are not task
orientated. this fact tends o negate the therrapeutc and cathartic benefit of writing, in
particular writing which is focused on self exploration, SEW seeks to address this fact
by encouraging a rehabilitative "philosophy" area for writing.
SEW is designed to be a primer for other rehabilitative programming as well as a
rehabilitative enhancement for more experienced self-help participants and seeks to
encourage, nurture and promote offender participaton in a structured self exploration
program,in order to mine the cognitive propositions of offenders through writing.
Program writing assignments for participants will focus on;
Exploring the orogins of their criminality
Exploring their interpersonal relationships
Exploring their societal relationships pre/current/post incarcaration
Exploring the emotional and mental conditions of their current lives with the goal
of improving it's qualit via personal perception
Program Theoretical Orientation
SEW will utilize a cognitive theory approch for program objectives and development.
This approach will target:
Common offnder cognotive methods used to organize information and their
internal representation of that information.
Common offender cognitive frameworks.
Common offender cognitive methods utilized to internalize, store and retrieve
Common offender ideas, emotions, thoughts and personal evalations of people
Program Practices and Activities
SEW will utilize the aforementioned thoretical approach in conjunction with
introspective writing and journaling to passively encourage the acknowledgement of
anti-social and crimonal behavior by offenders. This acknowledgement is an absolute
required element in increasing inmate responsiveness toward rehabilitative
programming which targets:
Anti-social and criminal choices
Anti-social and crminal beliefs
Anti-social and criminal values
Anti-social and criminal behavior thinking
The use of journaling is a very important tool for observing and indentifying thinking and
behavioral patterns and will serve as a storage space for the participants to be utilized
as a resource for the writing assignments within the program. SEW will utilize existing
program materials to import information which will be used in the developmental of writing
assignments. SEW is not seeking to re-invent the wheel but to utilize the rehabilitative
momentum of other programs to encourage an even deeper examination of bahavior,
free from the cnfines of any one specific program. For example, the introduction of
bssic concepts regarding Problem Solving, Anger Management, Effective
Communication and Stress Management. These concepts would then be utilized in
structured writing questions whick ask the participants to consider how the lack of the
previous knowledge and or skills contributed to their criminality, inhibited their ability to
engage in appropriate and voluntary relationships, and or contunue to affect their ability
to live productively in or out of prison.
Peer Facilitation and Education
Facilitators are agents of change and represent wat is possible through active,
prosocial, and productive participation in life. SEW is a peer education driven program
utilizing one of the most powerful teachings strategies, modeling.
Peer educators within this program have raversed the difficult path of recovery and
utilize that experience to assist thise participants within the program who are willing to
embark on a similr but individually unique journey. The helping traits of empathy,
genuineness, courtesy, compassion assembled with interactive communication skills
(Self-disclosure), Immediacy, Concreteness, and Confrontation) to scaffold participants
during their participation.
J Jordan, MCSP VAOP Facilitating Guide
Living on Purpose (LOP)
Adapted from D Amen's M.D. One Page Miracle
In Group Assignment
1 Listed below are common values for any person.
Rank them in order of importance (1 being the most important and 10 being the least important.
Personal wisdom 1
Meaningful and fulfilling relationships 3
Personal accomplishments 4
Faith in yourself 3
Faith in a higher power 2
How you appear to others 5
Briefly describe why you ranked the items in the order listed above.
Personal wisdom is the only one I ranked most valued because
this is what I've always aspired to achieve above all else.
Ranked second of value is both Faith in a higher power and
Legacy. I believe Cosmic Consciousness (TAGAOTY) is both
my higher power and my Legacy which pesonal wisdom
manifests. Third of value I listed Faith in myself,
Honesty/integrity and Meaningful/fulfilling reltionships. I feel these
are all ineter-related and naturally next in order followng the
aforementioned. I placed Personal accomplishments fourth
in value - one value rank above the half-point of five.
Perhaps I value Personal accomplishments higher,
i.e. Personal Wisdom for instance is a personal accomplishment, but I did
not want to seem pretentious in placing personal accomplishments
above my number three ratings - although in hindsight I think that
I actually always have ranked Personal accomplishments... above Relationships and integrity. (Ouch1)
Fifth, between one and ten, I ranked Money, Fame and
How I appear to others. The least important above all
other items on the list.
Living on Purpose (LOP)
Adapted from D.Amen's M.D. One Page Miracle
In Cell Assignment
Answer the following question to helpyou shed light on what you value, use another sheet of paper if needed.
2 What are you doing to accomplish or enhance the first five
items on the list? Personal wisdom, Personal accomplishments,
Meaningful/fulfilling relationships, Fame, Money.
I study Arcane Metaphysical and Transcendental Material
which helps me bring much of the mundane world in proper
perspective. The better perspective I have, the more
empowered I am over myself and my environment which
consequently hlps me in fulfilling relationships - ideally.
Fame and money? What amI doing to enhance these?
My seditious crusades of the 1990's made me pretty famous
butnow I suppose my artwork is servicng to enhance
these. In here it's tattos and dialogue - but then
I also send outartwork to friends who market my work
and finance my quaterly care packages.
or was this assignemnt intended to address thise items
I rankied one - through - five? which in my case all are
listed 1 - 5. What am I doing to enhance these? I aspire
formore than what life in prison offers! I seek
knowledge - and ways to apply it. I seek peace of mind
- and cherish it. I seek to develop my art skills
- and I apprecaite the appreciation it gets. I determine
to live in spite of proclavities of dispondency.
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