Insight Prison Project Executive Director Ellen Barry Stepping Down; Current President, Billie Mizell, Announced as Interim Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2014–San Rafael–Ellen Barry announced in July that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of Insight Prison Project, effective August 5, 2014. Ellen joined IPP in June of 2012, bringing her truly extraordinary experience and legacy with her. Barry, a MacArthur Genius winner, Soros Senior Justice Fellow, and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has worked as an advocate for prisoners and formerly incarcerated people, racial justice, and human rights for over 35 years. She founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children--a nonprofit organization which has advocated on behalf of incarcerated parents, their children and family members--and she was executive director of that organization from 1978 to 2001. From 2002 to 2012, she worked as a consultant on criminal justice and other human rights matters through Women and Justice Issues.
"In my two years with IPP, I have been honored to work alongside so many incredibly dedicated and talented staff members and volunteers” says Barry, “and it has been a privilege to lead an organization that does such extraordinary and transformative work with prisoners and crime survivors. While I will no longer be the Executive Director, I look forward to being a part of the IPP family for many years to come.” During her time at IPP, Barry worked to bring strong financial management structures to the organization, involvement in the national progressive, criminal, and restorative justice communities, and expansion of IPP’s transformative programs.
"IPP was blessed to find Ellen available and willing to take the helm of a Restorative Justice organization, if only for a couple of years, and we are grateful for her service,” says IPP President, Billie Mizell. “Having followed Ellen’s work and accomplishments long before she came to IPP, I have been truly humbled to have the opportunity to work with one of the great social justice change-makers of our time. Although we will miss Ellen terribly, we know that her passion for the work will continue to give us many opportunities to work together in the future.”
Mizell will be stepping in as Interim Executive Director, effective today, August 6, 2014. “Billie has a proven commitment to the mission and values of Insight Prison Project,” says Dionne Wilson, IPP’s Board Vice President. “Her organizational skills have benefited IPP immensely during the time she has led the Board and she is the ideal person to lead the organization during this transition. We are thrilled that she has agreed to assume the Interim Executive Director role.” Mizell has worked in the Bay Area for the past 15 years as a legal analyst, litigation specialist, and writer for numerous social justice nonprofits, as well as the State of California. She has worked on many death penalty and wrongful convictions cases. She has investigated and written about the Angola 3 case for more than a decade, often working directly with Amnesty International. She assists the Northern California Innocence Project and teaches a class at Santa Clara Law. She is also on the Board of Directors for Death Penalty Focus. She has been leading IPP’s Board of Directors since 2012.
In September, Massachusetts will pilot a curriculum on restorative justice, modeled on a program called the Victim Offender Education Group, which was developed for California’s San Quentin State Prison. Meeting weekly for 34 weeks, participants will undergo a probing process aimed at acquiring accountability for the harm they caused.
Click here to read the complete New York Times article, "By Talking, Inmates and Victims Make Things ‘More Right"
Restorative Justice: Reconciling Face to Face (Making Contact - radio stories and voices to take action)
Restorative Justice: Reconciling Face to Face (Making Contact - radio stories and voices to take action)
Victims and perpetrators sitting down face to face…it can help heal their wounds, and our society. Incarcerating our way out of crime clearly hasn’t worked, and it’s costing us billions. Meanwhile, school suspensions are reaching record highs.
Now, Institutions across US are finally starting to consider problem solving methods other than punishment. Restorative justice is gaining ground–in the schools, and behind bars.
Click here to listen to Restorative Justice: Reconciling Face to Face.
The San Quentin News (May 2014) covers Insight Prison Project's Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) graduation on April 16, 2014.
Excerpt from 'Victim Offender Education Group Holds Graduation ' in the San Quentin News.
By Juan Haine, Managing Editor, San Quentin News
More than 100 inmates and about a dozen community members celebrated the graduation of a group of inmates from San Quentin’s Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) Next Step program on April 16. The prison’s chapel served as a place of comfort for attending crime victims and offenders alike as the audience acknowledged the 31 graduates.
How can victims find healing through restorative justice?
KALW's (91.7 in San Francisco) Jasmine Lopez interviews Dionne Wilson (crime survivor and Insight Prison Project board member) and Sonya Shah (Insight Prison Project’s Justice Program Director) about restorative justice, IPP's victim offender dialogue program, and more.
Click here to listed to the KALW radio segment, Crime victims find healing through restorative justice.
How does restorative justice work in California? This segment of Your Call (KALW Radio 91.7) talks about programs in California’s prisons that bring victims and offenders of violent crimes together in dialogue. How do these programs work? And what can be gained from alternative methods of rehabilitation? Learn more about restorative justice with members of the Insight Prison Project, a nonprofit that works inside San Quentin State Prison.
Sonya Shah, Advocacy Director, Insight Prison Project.
Dionne Wilson, Survivor Outreach Coordinator, Californians for Safety and Justice.
Jerry Elster, Facilitator, Insight Prison Project.
Click here to listen to the complete segment of "How does restorative justice work in California"
By Carol Horton, Ph.D.
Photos by Elizabeth Sattelberger
Moksha Yoga's main studio was buzzing with a quiet but powerful current of passion, interest, and purpose as James Fox launched his Prison Yoga Project (PYP) training on a Friday evening last April. A number of those attending this two-hour introductory session, which was open to the public, complained (in a good-natured way) that they'd wanted to take the full weekend workshop (April 5–7), but couldn't get in. Fox had tried to accommodate the unanticipated demand for this training by pushing his limit up to 47 students--twice the number anticipated, yet nowhere near enough slots for the additional 40 or so people interested.
Yoga in San Quentin
James Fox has been practicing yoga since the late 1980s and took his first teacher training with Erich Schiffmann in 2000. Knowing that he wasn't interested in working in a traditional yoga studio, he secured a position teaching yoga at a residential center for boys who'd suffered abuse and neglect. In 2002, he began teaching yoga to San Quentin inmates with the Insight Prison Project (IPP), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering personal insight and lasting behavioral change by providing rehabilitative tools to prisoners in California.
Click here to read the complete article, "Gritty Inspiration: Chicago Welcomes the Prison Yoga Project"
We are deeply saddened to let you know that Jaimee Karroll, IPP’s Training/Curriculum/Education Director, passed away on Friday, June 14th after an extended illness. Jaimee, a true champion of restorative justice and working with incarcerated and at-risk populations, will be deeply missed by the IPP family.
If you would like to know about memorial arrangements please contact us at Info@InsightPrisonProject.org. If you would like to send a sympathy card to Jaimee's family, you are welcome to send it to the IPP office (PO Box 151642, San Rafael, CA 94915) and we will forward it on to her family.
In honor of Jaimee, IPP has established a special fund in her name that will support IPP’s work with survivors. Jaimee deeply believed in the transformative healing process that brought offenders and survivors face-to-face. To make a contribution to this fund, please visit IPP’s website (here), and note that the donation is made in Jaimee’s memory.
Jaimee was an award-winning writer and educator who was dedicated to facilitating dynamic learning experiences. She regularly developed and evaluated educational curricula for at-risk and professional audiences. As a survivor of a violent crime who worked in the prisons to interrupt cycles of violence, she was often invited to train professional and prisoner audiences about the damaging effects of child abuse and violent sexual assault. Since 2005, she had facilitated and been engaged in Victim/Offender impact dialogues in various juvenile and adult incarceration institutions throughout California. She was the Director of Training/Evaluation/Curriculum at Insight Prison Project, was a Lead Facilitator/Trainer of the Victim Offender Education Group curriculum in San Quentin State Prison, and was a mediator of severe and violent crime.
Past professional responsibilities included founding and running a national training institute, and working as a technical writer and educator in a college system that specialized in serving an at-risk population. Throughout her career as a writer, educator and administrator, she helped illuminate the problems associated with unchecked violence in families and society. Jaimee held an MA degree in Liberal Studies from Mills College. She was honored as a Hero of Forgiveness (for her work with violent offenders) at the 12th International Forgiveness Day Celebration on Sunday August 3, 2008.
Insight Prison Project's new yoga class for veterans is highlighted in The Huffington Post! This new class is designed specifically for incarcerated military veterans with a focus on applying yoga for trauma-related issues, including PTSD.
This is an interview with Ron G. Self, founder of Veterans Healing Veterans from the Inside Out (VHV-FTIO), a program he started at San Quentin State Prison in 2012 specifically to address psychological, emotional and ethical issues of veterans related to their active duty in the military, and to explore how their personal experiences may have contributed to behavior that resulted in their committing a crime. The program offers cognitive behavioral processing and mind/body integration support and seeks to share its healing work with veterans on the outside.
Click here to read Yoga: Incarcerated Veterans Taking Healing Into Their Own Hands
Study Identifies S.Q. Groups Shown to Reduce Recidivism
FOUR PROGRAMS FROM THE INSIGHT PRISON PROJECT OFFER OFFENDERS A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE
San Quentin News, February 2013, page 3
By San Quentin News Staff
A new study says four San Quentin programs help criminal offenders become productive members of society when released from prison.
The findings focused on San Quentin’s Victim/Offender Education Group, Violence Prevention, Brother’s Keeper, and Yoga programs. They were studied by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The programs are a part of the Insight Prison Project, launched in 1997.