How We Serve

Healed People Heal People

Using the power of human connection, Inside Circle positively impacts each community we touch by reducing violence inside and outside prisons, lowering recidivism rates, and providing the public with an antidote to the increasingly polarized world we live in. Since 1997, we have provided weekly circles and intensives designed to support inmates in healing their trauma and taking responsibility for their choices. Around 350 men have benefited from these groups, and 60 of them live free as peaceful, contributing members of society.

Inside Circle offers ex-con program participants vital connection on the outside through peer mentorship, education, facilitation training, and access to regular events. We also provide ways for graduates to serve society while earning a living wage, bringing their hard-earned skills and wisdom from the inside to people and communities on the outside. We organize community events, integrate our program into organizations and schools, and bring members of the public inside prison to experience our life-changing work.

What We Offer


Inside Circle Intensives

Select members of the public are invited to enter the gates of New Folsom Prison and engage in a four-day group-healing intensive alongside the incarcerated “men in blue.” This event serves as a powerful bridge between worlds, inviting all participants to explore the imaginary barriers they erect to protect themselves and the costs of those barriers.  This work is detailed in the documentary, THE WORK. For more information, please visit our About Us page.


Outside Circle Intensives

Our Outside Circle Intensives exist to provide a platform for ex-convict “graduates” of the Folsom Prison Men’s Support Group to continue the work they started on the inside, and share their experience as circle facilitators on the outside with open-minded men and women from all walks of life. These circles help the men successfully re-enter and serve society using the wisdom cultivated in our program.


Facilitation Training

Inside Circle offers training for individuals and organizations working with at-risk youth, ex-convicts, veterans, and under-served members of society. Our ex-con facilitators, most of whom were incarcerated as juveniles, serve ongoing partnerships with youth rehabilitation programs, including the Chatham County Work Readiness Enrichment Program. We offer juveniles on probation or in custody the opportunity to sit in circle alongside members of the justice system and engage in dialogue on how to better support these at-risk youth.


Community Connections

We provide exceptional opportunities for cultural exchange, community partnerships, educational enrichment, and volunteerism in corporate, educational, and public settings.

  • Volunteer Opportunities – Internships, fundraising opportunities, and peer mentoring programs are available to students in the Bay Area. Volunteers receive first-hand experience in nonprofit administration, event planning, donor development, and small-group facilitation. The money saved directly supports our prison programs.
  • Film Screenings with Q&A – A 120-minute viewing of the award-winning film, THE WORK, includes a post-screening Q&A session with members of the cast. These screenings are best when presented in a theater with full technical support. However, programs in gyms, dance studios, outdoor spaces, etc. are possible. (moderator recommended; mics required).
  • Peer Mentor Training Following the screening and Q&A, Inside Circle can host follow-up circles for up to 40 peer mentors, which is designed to deepen the film experience and model group facilitation skills. This is often the starting point for an add-on educational series created to enrich and expand existing peer-mentoring programs.
  • Speaking EngagementsPowerful, gracious, thoughtful, and articulate,  our ex-convict facilitators are gifted speakers. As they share their life life stories of struggle and transformation, they lend meaningful perspective on a variety of social justice issues.

 

Get Involved

If you’d like to attend an event or bring facilitators to your school, company, or nonprofit service agency for an interactive film screening, keynote, or training, email us at info@insidecircle.org. Consider supporting our programs by making a donation online today – this allows us to expand our services and move this valuable work in the world. You can also stay informed about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities by signing up for our quarterly newsletter and joining our Facebook community – help us spread the word by liking our Facebook page.