A recent inspirational event at Ironwood State Prison offered hope, empowerment, education and redemption.
The Dec. 17 event was coordinated with the Statewide Volunteer and Anti-Recidivism Coalition, founded by Scott Budnick. The population was given the chance to meet formerly incarcerated volunteers who have excelled outside.
The inspirational event also highlighted Ironwood prison rehabilitation programs. Volunteers encouraged attendees to learn to make positive changes when they are released back into their communities.
The guest speakers were 30 ex-lifers who paroled from Ironwood. On the outside, they are now computer coders, California Senate staffers, social workers, engineers and government employees. The speakers credited their successful reentry to self-help programs and the rehabilitative culture at Ironwood.
The event and their speakers brought hope to hundreds of men on all four yards at Ironwood.
Witnessing the transformation of the formerly incarcerated lifers, officers, sergeants and lieutenants offered compliments and handshakes on every yard.
“I want to thank Warden McDowell and CRM Carey Ochs for one of the most amazing days I’ve experienced in a prison,” said Budnick. “Thank you to Ironwood for hosting this and for Carey Ochs and her entire team to come in on a Saturday.”
Submitted by Lt. H. Mora