Several area prisons will receive part of a $14.5 million grant from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to boost innovative programs and increase volunteerism in prisons, according to the CDCR.
Avenal State Prison, California State Prison in Corcoran, Central California Women’s Facility and Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, Pleasant Valley State Prison in Corcoran, and Wasco State Prison will be able to implement or keep a variety of programs, ranging from in-cell anger management and literacy programs to conflict resolution programs such as Prison of Peace and the Buddhist Pathways Prison Project.
The prisons will share $3 million a year for three years to implement and run their programs, with some institutions receiving extra funds for programs that have proven successful in serving long-term or life-term inmates, the CDCR said.
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The grants come from the department’s general fund, but the department said it expects that by the end of the grant period, the programs will be able to be sustained through the normal prison budget.
Jay Virbel, director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs, said it’s important to prepare offenders to return home. “Positive programs help offenders learn important life skills, foster peaceful communication and self-reflection, and contribute to safer prison environments for inmates and staff,” he said.