The Prison Project

The Prison Project

Can radical listening transform prison culture? One Pennsylvania institution is finding out.

By Samantha Melamed, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Strategies and Tips for Incarcerated Persons: How To Thrive During Covid 19

Please savor this beautiful document, collaboratively written by the JUST Listening Prison Project Core Team. It contains valuable insights and suggestions for ALL of us impacted by the isolation and rupture of relationships during Covid 19. Enjoy.

Beginning in January 2017, incarcerated men began to participate in all-day JUST Listening Trainings at State Correctional Institute (SCI) Graterford, now SCI Phoenix, located an hour outside of Philadelphia. As of December 2019, 168 men have received the full training, and a Core Team of 15 inside and 7 outside members co-facilitate the development and facilitation of the ongoing training program. Four basic training days are scheduled for 2020.

In addition, inside-outside teams co-facilitate monthly Alumni Circle events in which those who have already received basic training are invited to hone their skills in half-day highly interactive, topic-specific workshops.

The project was developed at the request of the Lifers, Inc. organization at the prison following a JUST Listening training there. In order to address the specific needs and realities of Listening in a maximum security prison, the entire curriculum and ongoing training process has been customized collaboratively with a focus group of men at Graterford as well as with regular feedback from those engaged in the process.

A Listening Library has been assembled in the prison library, providing relevant resources to support the men in this exciting and transformative work. Check back to this website for periodic updates.

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
-Karl A. Menninger

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