Freedom 101: Dealing with Confinement and Freedom 102: Dealing with Freedom are the cornerstone programs offered by Freedom 101 Trainings. These proven and popular programs serve also as a motivational “primer” in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Embracing the model of thoughts creating feelings and behavior, students learn they have the power to change the way they think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change.

Freedom 101: Dealing with Confinement

Freedom 101: Dealing with Confinement is a 4-day seminar that uses experiential exercises, as well as self-discovery, reflection, humor, and music to help students learn why they do what they do and how to realize the power in the choices they have, to make a difference in their own lives, as well as in the world. Facilitators and trained volunteer assistants guide inmates through the process of facing the past, taking responsibility for their actions, and developing a plan that will help them re-integrate into a non-criminal environment.

Some of the many “tools” Freedom 101 teaches are:

  • techniques to release anger and forgive long-held hurts;
  • how to become more “centered” in a calm place so that they are less likely to be reactive to small irritations and more likely to make clearer decisions;
  • and, perhaps most important, the realization that “we’re all in this together” and want the same basic things of life.

Freedom 101 presents a new model for addressing the problem of jails becoming “revolving doors” where inmates return repeatedly, having learned nothing useful in the process, often spiraling downward to more serious offenses. By having the inmates themselves create solutions, based on a new view of themselves—who they can be and want to become—Freedom 101 takes them past their old self-limiting beliefs, gets them “unstuck” from repeated patterns of self-defeating behaviors, and teaches them the joy and power in personal choice, responsibility, and commitment.

Freedom 102: Dealing with Freedom

Building upon the concepts in Freedom 101, Freedom 102 is an intense 5-day seminar designed to work dynamically with the individual needs of the students in the room. Inmates “hunt down” their deeper, self-destructive pain, guilt and denial, deal with it in the room with highly-trained facilitators, and employ the resulting energy in developing a new contract with themselves in relation not only to who they want to be, but to how they want to be known in their community-to-be (the county to which they will be released.) While Freedom 101 deals primarily with a new self-view, Freedom 102 is geared toward how they plan to “show up” in the world—dealing especially with the concepts of integrity, honesty, and what commitment will mean to them personally in their struggle to stay free. This seminar also provides the necessary training for graduates to return to the Freedom 101 classroom to “pay it forward” as volunteer group leaders.

Other Programs Offered by Freedom 101 Trainings

Computer Job Skills Classes: Classes cover Microsoft Office Applications—Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint and include resume preparation and interview techniques.

Parenting—Reaching Out from Confinement: Inmates take a look at their childhood and their parent’s parenting style, discover how their self-limiting beliefs impact their children, and develop a deeper relationship with their children through self-discovery and outreach.

About Money: Inmates requested this class in order to deal with the power money held over them—luring them into non-conventional ways of making money—e.g. drug-dealing. This seminar invites inmates to examine their relationship to money—how they think about it, approach it, and use it to make decisions. It offers inmates fundamental and practical money concepts and tools.

Breakfast Club: Weekly 60-90 minute sessions directed toward inmates who want to make their name mean something positive and powerful in the community by making their lives mean something positive and powerful.

Life after Incarceration: Inmates develop a re-entry plan by determining how they want to live their life as a man/woman and dad/mom, identifying what should be included in their plan, researching and setting up support in the community, and taking action on their plan while still incarcerated. Currently in development.

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