Thanks to a special anti-violence program at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF), 33 incarcerated participants learned skills to curb violent impulses.
Guiding Rage in Power (GRIP) hosted their annual graduation ceremony June 15 at CTF, recognizing rehabilitative achievements.
Families of the 33 graduates attended the ceremony, the culmination of 52 weeks of study.
The GRIP program helps the incarcerated participants:
- understand their impact on victims
- how to stop violent behavior
- cultivate mindfulness
- and develop emotional intelligence.
GRIP’s goal is to help participants comprehend the origins of their violence and develop the skills to manage strong impulses before they act out in destructive ways.
What do people learn in GRIP?
GRIP students learn to:
- Stop violent actions. They study and practice a toolbox of skills to use when challenged, thereby undoing the roots of antisocial behavior. We tell students that they are not in prison because of what they did; more precisely, they are there because they believed the thoughts that justified what they did. By learning how to name and question those belief systems, they can find inner freedom and increase their ability to respect one another.
- Cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness develops the ability to discern between a blind reaction and a well-considered response. Students learn skills to handle stress and develop the inner resources to be resilient in any circumstances that might arise.
- Develop emotional intelligence. Students learn how to regulate and manage strong emotions in order to nurture healthy and mutually beneficial relationships as opposed to the toxic and trauma-based relationships so many of them are used to.
- Understand victim impact. Learning empathy by facing the impacts of criminal behavior is an effective way to develop the intrinsic motivation needed for prosocial behavior to take hold. GRIP is based on the understanding that criminal lifestyles weren’t formed overnight. This is why we devote a whole year to create durable behavior change.
Submitted by Lt. Wil Landrum, AA/PIO
Correctional Training Facility