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Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP)

Inmate Educational Programs

Salinas Valley State Prison offers both General Population (GP) programs and Voluntary Education Programs (VEP). GP programs offer Adult Basic Education (ABE) I, II, & III level classes to assigned inmate students. The VEP programs offer Adult Basic Education coursework as well, but inmate students voluntarily enroll in the programs. VEP teachers also help coordinate and serve as proctors for students enrolled in college courses. These programs are available to inmates on all the facilities. Additionally, SVSP offers a Career Technical Education Computer Literacy program. This program allows students to earn certifications in basic computer programs and provides them with the skills necessary for entry level positions requiring the use of computers. Completion of the course also provides a foundation for more advanced computer classes and training.

Inmates are offered lower level assistance and tutoring with the Pro-Literacy program in the VEP classes and with the Scottish Rites Program over the institution's closed circuit television system. The higher level inmate students have opportunities to get a General Education Certificate (GED). GED instruction is offered on the institution's closed circuit television system as well as in the classroom setting. A High School Diploma program is also available to inmate students who have a minimum amount of credits to earn.

SVSP also offers education services to inmates in the Developmental Disability Program (DDP) with a credentialed special education teacher and a teaching assistant to meet the needs of the DDP population. In addition we have an Isolation Population program to meet the needs of the Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP) students. Both of these programs will assist the EOP and DDP students to meet the same goals as the general population students. Each student has the opportunity to achieve basic literacy, GED or high school equality, and college program.

Inmate Self Help Programs and Volunteer Programs

SVSP offers multiple self help groups and volunteer programs. The institution is continually striving to help facilitate a productive growth of new programming. These programs are designed to enable the inmate population a way to express themselves in a non-violent manner and/or utilize various coping mechanisms, with the overall goal of reducing adverse behavior and recidivism rates to those who participate.

Current Programs:

Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) -Volunteer facilitators teach 12- step recovery program where inmates learn to acknowledge alcohol addiction and the need to live a sober life.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) - Volunteer facilitators teach 12- step recovery program where inmates learn to acknowledge narcotic addiction and the need to live a sober life.

Veterans Group - Self Help sponsors provide aid and support to inmates that are Veterans relating to benefits, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

Veterans Group - Self Help sponsors provide aid and support to inmates that are Veterans relating to benefits, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

Breaking Barriers - Self Help sponsors follow an established curriculum with the specific purpose of breaking an inhibiting cycle of conditioned habits and help inmates become more productive and fulfilled human beings while learning about the body of knowledge found in cognitive psychology.

Alternatives to Violence (AVP) - Volunteer facilitators teach how to deal with anger in a positive manner.

Inside Men's Foundation Support Group - Volunteer facilitators follow an established curriculum which creates an environment that inmates can work toward exploring the issues that have prevented them from living up to their full potential.

Ojai Council Leadership Collaborative - The OCLC volunteers provides training and support in practicing and facilitating Council so as to create a heightened sense of common purpose and positive community at SVSP OCLC. Inmate facilitators attend workshops to facilitate Council. The OCLC provides inmates with an opportunity to perceive and experience their incarceration as an opportunity for personal transformation and to build skills in self-expression and self valuation while building self-esteem and communication skills, improving family dynamics and preparing in other ways for reentry into society.

Lifer Support Group - The group's purpose is to raise awareness and improve attitudes while helping Life Term prisoners adjust to a more focused disciplined and structured life within their environment. The group shall deal with issues such as self-esteem, positive behavior, personal character, conduct and anger management.

Anger Management - Self Help sponsors follow an established curriculum with the purpose of managing anger, emotional intelligence, and empathy awareness.

Writer's Workshop - Volunteers provide an opportunity for Enhanced Outpatient Inmates to develop their ability to express ideas and experiences in writing. Creativity is a way inmates can come to know and own the events and feelings of their lives and expand them from personal suffering into communal experience. In breaking the silence, the journey toward wholeness begins.

Religious Programs

The institution offers the following Volunteer Programs:

The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) - Volunteers equip inmates to become pastors and church leaders, both on the "inside" for lifers, as well as for those who return to their urban communities.

Bridging Program - Faith based (Christian) program primarily to help individuals break their addictions, learning to change their thinking and feelings to, in turn, promote change of their behaviors. In-prison activities with educational programming based on cognitive-behavior therapy emphasize rehabilitation above deterrence, employing evidence based strategies compounded with the Christian faith.

Prayer and Share - Volunteers apply God's Word to the wounds that one may encounter as a Christian so that healing and restoration may begin. Through interaction, biblical guidance and encouragement to overcome and persevere through life's issues.

The institution offers the following Religious Services:

Protestant Services - Bible study, Choir, & Left Hand Path

Catholic Services

Jewish Services

Native American Services - Sweat Lodge & Talking Circle

Muslim - Islamic Jumaa Services and Talim Program

House of Yahweh

Neterian Services

Wiccan Services

Odinist Services

Buddhist Services (volunteers)

Mormon Services (volunteers)

Jehovah Witness (volunteers)

Siddha Yoga (volunteers)

Christian Science (volunteers)

Latter Day Saints (volunteers)

Family Liaison Services

Through the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) the institution provides Family Liaison Services (FLS) to inmates within the institution. The purpose of this program is to alleviate inmate anxiety during incarceration and to promote family unity and reunification to increase the number of parole successes, reduce recidivism and enhance public safety. The inmate's ability to resolve family problems is often exacerbated by the fact that inmates may be incarcerated in one part of California while their families and personal ties may be hundreds of miles away. Friends Outside provides the following FLS to our inmate population:

Case Management Services

Support for personal and family prerelease preparation

Support during family emergencies

Support for family reunification

Information regarding child custody and parental rights

Liaison with social workers, attorneys, and others

Parenting for Incarcerated Parents

Individual consultation on parenting issues and concerns

Facilitated parenting groups that meet court requirements

Creative Conflict Resolutions

Facilitate inter-racial and inter-cultural groups focused on resolving differences

Anger Management

Facilitate groups focused on managing anger, emotional intelligence, and empathy awareness for both court-ordered and non court-ordered participants

Fatherhood Focus

Individual, structured program designed to enhance responsible fathering

DRP Programs

CDCR's Division of Rehabilitative Programs offers a wide range of programs for inmates. Check to see which programs are offered at this institution.