Help us Change the World :) – We Provide Proven True Rehabilitation! For our participants that remain in prison, increased peace and less incidents of disturbance are continually reported translating to less dollars spent. For those released who have regularly attended our program, the recidivism rate is less than 10% ! Without programs like Freedom to Choose, 65% of those released from prison will return within three years at an average cost of $64,000.00 per year. So, if you consider an intervention like ours that stops just ten parolees from going back into prison for the next 30 years of their lives, that’s a taxpayer savings of $19,200,000.00! Can you imagine the savings if that number becomes one hundred, one thousand, or one hundred thousand parolees? That’s the mission of The Freedom to Choose Project…plus more…
Why Give to Us? – We Stop the Cycle of Incarceration and Create Productive Citizens which in turn creates a Safe and Productive Society with more Available Economic Resources! We touch the entire family of humanity and create a significant change on all levels. When one person changes, a ripple effect occurs. As such, when our participants change, our entire human family benefits. This culture change results in more responsible parenting, whether from inside or outside of prison, and more cohesive family structures, better role models for our children and community, and meaningful change to society's safety, economy, healing and success for generations to come.
Our “Graduates” - Our participants in the “free world” tell us they are now living vibrant, productive lives and have significantly healed family relationships as they now take true responsibility for their own lives. They attribute their success to the transformation they experienced by participating in the Freedom to Choose programs while incarcerated. They report that they continue to use the skills they learned daily.
When you give to The Freedom to Choose Project, you aren’t just helping a person transform their life, you are creating new intergenerational patterns and a huge financial and resource return for your community -- any intervention that prevents men and women who have been released from returning to prison has a profound impact on all of us!
“I get healing every time I come to a Freedom to Choose workshop. When I heal, my family heals, my community heals, and the world heals.” - inmate participant Freedom to Choose
Support The Expansion of The Freedom To Choose Project!
“You cared about me and it changed my life”
-inmate participant Freedom to Choose
Your support of The Freedom to Choose Project will favorably impact the $80 billion dollars a year our country spends in incarceration costs. Freedom to Choose provides a proven path for change from the inside out that breaks the cycle of continuing criminal behavior and incarceration.
Your donation will enable us to create the infrastructure, facilitator training, service learning training and materials to expand so that we can serve more people and create more benefit to society as a whole on every level. Your investment in our program will pay for itself many times over in so many ways!
Who We Are - The Freedom to Choose Project is a small (but mighty) nonprofit organization that has provided life-changing, experiential programs to the incarcerated and underserved in California prisons for over ten years. Our intention has been to evolve and perfect our program and measure its impact before growing and scaling it. We are at that point! We are now being asked to serve in a BIG way through invitations to expand our services to other prison programs, reentry programs, jail systems and family & community education and need your support to do so!
What We Do - Our experiential psychology curriculum has been carefully developed over the years by Drs. David and Bonnie Paul and is a unique blend of neuroscience and various types of psychology including cognitive behavioral psychology, humanistic psychology, positive psychology, spiritual psychology, and more than a little bit of love, designed to effect lasting, profound change from the inside out.
In addition to facilitation by Drs. Paul, our highly trained volunteers, over 400 strong, work directly with our participants (1-3 ratio) to create a non-judgmental, peer environment while they model the skills presented. In these small groups, we work as equals as we explore concepts such as emotional accountability and responsibility, self-acceptance and acceptance of others, resolution of long-standing shame and self-worth issues, and the skills to recognize "anger triggers" and respond differently. We work together to resolve underlying issues and we celebrate each other’s healing.
What Makes Us Different: Why We Provide The “Missing Ingredient” for True Rehabilitation – Our unique curriculum coupled with the container of authenticity, trust, and equality that our volunteer/participant trios create, provide the tools for true Inner Freedom as those issues that led to our participants’ incarceration in the first place are powerfully understood, explored and resolved in the safety of this unconditionally accepting environment. People who have observed and participated in our program have commented that "magic happens" as they watch the real change experienced by our participants. And the change lasts over time, whether our participants are in (or out) of prison. Not only do we work with our participants to effectuate change, but we also provide them a unique “toolbox” of skills to enable them to sustain their learnings.
Our Program is the “Missing Ingredient” that Complements and Enhances All Other Programs - As our co-founder, Dr. Bonnie Paul, stated, “we discovered serendipitously that our program provides the "Missing Ingredient" which allows all other programs to flourish.” Outer work (job skills, life skills) can easily be taught, but without the INNER CHANGE that our work provides, those skills may quickly fall away as old behavior patterns resurface and ultimately "sabotage" those non-foundational learnings. Our program provides the difference between just getting a job and keeping a job – the inner work that our participants do in our program is the key to keeping that job!
"Freedom to Choose workshops have taught me how to be aware of my emotions and how to make better and more productive choices not using violence..."I have looked into my heart and found the person I want to become and now have the tools to be that person."