Our Impact

The Envisioning Justice Solutions team has been working collectively with the Center for Gender and Justice and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since 2014.

beyond violence: A Prevention Program for Criminal Justice-Involved Women (covington, 2013)

The first projects began in two women’s prisons in California. Currently, more than 6500 women reside in California’s state prisons, with two-thirds serving lengthy sentences for violent crimes. The primary goal of the initial endeavors was to assess the effectiveness of the woman-focused Beyond Violence intervention in preventing and reducing violence in the lives of incarcerated women.  Additionally, this study ascertained the feasibility of using peer educators (i.e., incarcerated women serving life sentences) trained to facilitate the Beyond Violence program to violent female offenders in prison (Covington, 2013). Beyond Violence showed significantly positive outcomes for women incarcerated for long terms or life on reductions in PTSD, anxiety, anger and aggression, and symptoms of serious mental illness (Messina et. al, 2016).

“Through Beyond Violence I was able to identify that little girl inside of me and

heal her. She’s good, I’m good.” Beyond Violence, Female Participant, 2015

HEALING TRAUMA: A Brief Intervention for Women (Covington & Russo, 2016)

Based on the positive findings from the women’s BEYOND VIOLENCE pilot studies, A NEW program (HEALING TRAUMA) was added to the Segregated Housing Unit (SHU) For women. PROGRAMMING WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE FOR SHU POPULATIONS.

Statistically significant decreases in: Messina & Calhoun, 2018

  • Depression (Mental Health) 

  • PTSD (Mental Health)

  • Anxiety (Mental Health)

  • Serious Mental Illness (Mental Health)

  • Anger - Composite Score (Anger)

  • Instrumental Anger (Anger)

  • Aggression / Hostility - Total Score (Aggression / Hostility)

  • Physical Aggression (Aggression / Hostility)

  • Hostility (Aggression / Hostility)

  • Indirect Aggression (Aggression / Hostility)

  • Verbal Aggression (Aggression / Hostility)

EXPLORING TRAUMA: Brief Intervention for Men (Covington & Rodriquez, 2016)

Based on the positive findings from the women’s pilot studies, A NEW program MODEL was added to the SENSITIVE NEEDS LEVEL IV YARD AND THE SHU for men. PROGRAMS WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE TO SHU POPULATIONS.

Statistically significant decreases in: Messina & Burdon, 2012

  • Depression 

  • PTSD

  • Aggression

  • Hostility

  • Anger

  • Anxiety

  • Dissociation

  • Sleep Disturbance

“It gave me a chance to realize two very important things… Number 1 is that after a

trauma, it is like walking around with a broken leg, and then if anther trauma comes in

your life before that leg has fully healed, it breaks again and eventually you go thru life

crippled to a degree. Number 2 is that there are different kinds of wounds, inner and

outer. A man with a busted lip will be shown sympathy because his wound can be seen.

But inner wounds cannot be seen, so it’s harder to detect them or believe that they are

there; so people are less sympathetic to such wounds.” Male Participant, 2017

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The Center for Gender and Justice and Envisioning Justice Solutions have been asked by the CDCR to create additional programs for the women’s facilities (Healing Trauma) and to add Exploring Trauma to other yards within the male institutions. The programs and evaluations are now operating on seven prison yards and (2) SHUs within California. For more information about these programs click here.