Blog
November 8, 2017

Poems from Men Inside

As part of our Resolve to Stop the Violence Project’s “Restorative Justice Circle Keeper Training,” Dr. Jo Bauen conducted poetry writing workshops for the men in pod 7B at San Francisco’s County Jail #5 (San Bruno). Below is a sampling of what they wrote:

Shhh, don’t speak on me,
Weak points are strengths, some don’t see,
My strife makes me, me.
-Medina

June 24, 2017

This Has Never Been Done Before in Jail

I work for Community Works West in California State Prisons and County Jails, training inmates and parolees in Restorative Justice (RJ) Circle Keeping methods. The people I work with become experts at something I believe they, due to their life experiences, uniquely master. Here is one story.

March 29, 2017

Restorative Justice: The World I Want

Community Works’s Jo Bauen writes for the Stanford Social Innovation Review about a group of inmates benefitting from a practice that’s badly needed both within and beyond prison walls.

September 19, 2016

The Sentence Unseen: Celebrating Resilience

We pay a high price when our loved ones are entangled in a punitive justice system that often leads to incarceration. The Sentence Unseen bears witness to the impacts of the US criminal justice system when family members are taken away from our community. The exhibit sheds light on the collateral consequences of arrest and incarceration on children, youth, families, and communities while celebrating the heart and resiliency of those impacted.

July 15, 2016

the whole peace: Restorative Justice Poetry from Inside San Bruno Jail

The poems included in this book were written as part of a restorative justice poetry class in San Bruno Jail under Community Works West’s program, the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). The course took place in weekly two-hour sessions over the course of ten weeks. Its emphasis was to expand upon the primary elements of restorative justice, an alternative to a punitive model of criminal justice that emphasizes accountability, healing, and rebuilding relationships.

The poetry in this book was inspired by the discussion themes of harm/trauma, power, belonging, relationships, self-love/self-definition, and forgiveness. The conversations and sharing took place in a restorative justice circle, which provided a platform for support and honest reflection. Poetry was used as a means to help participants find and remain in touch with their authentic selves. Each session centered around themes extracted from poems written by acclaimed women of color writers and included poetry reading, discussion, and reflective writing.


See full PDF: The Whole Peace