In 2008, a group of men incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison were unsatisfied that people were leaving prison unprepared. Knowing this would make it difficult for them and others to live healthy, engaged, crime-free lives outside of prison, they decided to start a new program at San Quentin to give prisoners the tools they would need to truly reintegrate back into society and practice social justice.
With a handful of professionals, community volunteers and a few prison staff dedicated to rehabilitation, they established the Alliance for CHANGE to provide programming to prepare prisoners to succeed after being released.
More than 48 students per year graduate from the Alliance Social Justice Education Program and another 40 graduate from Anger Management. Over 150 men have completed our social justice course, and we have supported dozens of men in the days and months after their release. We continue to grow and work with more partners and we look forward to expanding our reach and our effect on the men’s lives.
- Intensive Social Justice Course – Participants have endured years of institutionalization within the criminal justice system. This course teaches them about what some of the factors are that helped land them in prison in the first place, ways in which they can become civically engaged, and how to have a stake in their society.
- Peer Mentorship Program – Empowers previous graduates to help guide new students through the social justice curriculum.
- Anger Management Courses – Courses are led by Dr. Peter Richman, a psychologist with over 40 years of experience.
- Reintegration Program – There are courses to prepare for parole and then support once released that helps with functional skills, connects them back to their community, and creates a support system that is essential to reintegration.
- Bay Area Bridge Project – The Alliance partners with No More Tears, Project Rebound and Phatt Chance Community Services to provide a support group for formerly incarcerated people.