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Integral Life Practice Prison ProjectJune 2, 2014

Since our last IF newsletter, Dr. Cindy Lou Golin’s Integral Life Practice Prison Project was awarded a grant from the MetaIntegral Foundation! The funds she receives will be use to continue her ILP project with the incarcerated. Her approach includes facilitating ILPs via snail mail, developing an ILP workbook for the incarcerated, and conducting train-the-trainer programs with selected inmates.

Last week we chatted with Dr. Golin to learn more about her innovative project—here’s what she shared with us:

IF: How did you develop this idea? How did you get connected with inmates in a prison to work with, and how long has it been going?

Dr. Golin: Surprisingly, the inmates actually reached out to me after reading an article I wrote in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. They learned that I taught an online course on Integral Life Practice (ILP) at JFKU and asked me if I could do a correspondence version with them. We started around September 2013.

IF: Can you describe what your process of working with the inmates is like? (Do you ever meet in person, does it resemble coaching, do you work 1-1 or small groups…?)

Dr. Golin: We have been using the structure of the ILP course and everything is done through snail mail correspondence, including one-on-one coaching. The grant funds I received will go towards creating a self-study ILP workbook for prisons (to be edited by the inmates), to developing a self-sustaining ILP system. This will include me traveling to the prison to meet with the inmates as well as holding in-person ILP workshops.

IF: Congratulations, Cindy Lou!

Here’s what some inmates have shared:

“The ILP-I course has given me a key to a door that had been buried under a lifetime of fear… I have never felt freedom such as this!”

“This training is amazing and has prepared me for real life situations, equipped me with what I need, what I needed and what I lacked in the past.”

The inmates shared in a letter to the Deputy Warden: “The participants of this course share a common vision of making the most effective use of our incarceration.  We believe we can take responsibility for our rehabilitation, and (potentially) alter convict culture and reduce recidivism through modeling and mentoring higher values and learning.”

3 comments

Paula oswald

A Friend is currently an inmate in a federal prison. She is very curious about your program I correspond with her via snail mail. How can she get in touch with you?

Yeo Kok Hwa

I am a volunteer 1 to 1 counseling to prisons (Singapore Changi Prison) in Singapore. In addition, I also help facilitating “community reintegration programme” in preparing prisons’ relief. I used to support ‘substance’ abuse offenders/ex-prisoners in the ‘halfway houses’ short term shelters for those without a home to return to after releasing from prison and a “transit point” where the ex-offenders can learn to readjusting to the out-of-jail environment in 6 or 12 months.

Am very curious about “Integral Life Practice Prison Project” of Dr. Cindy Lou Golin, and wander what is the possibility and degree of suitability to Asia multi-cultural environment. May I request for an outline of the ILP prisons, if possible?

Best regards,
Yeo Kok Hwa

Rebecca Colwell

Hello and thank you for your note. We’ve forwarded your request to Dr Cindy Lou Golin, and you should hear from her shortly. Thanks so much for the work you do and your inquiry into how to bring this into the Asian multi-cultural environment. Warmly, Rebecca

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