David here reaching out with one of the several testimonials we've received.
In his own words, this is Eric Martin.
Self-Help Group Testimonial Of
In Favor of The RISE Program
As a prisoner who has participated in several self-help groups over my four decades of imprisonment, I speak with experience in saying that the RISE Group is the very best that I have ever seen. What makes it the best is the fact that RISE has an actual workbook curriculum that addresses mostly all parole board issues and criteria; what is required by the BPH, plus other personal improvement techniques.
This is very important because many, many life-termers and other prisoners who must one day appear before the Board, and those who have already appeared up to several times, in hopes of reacquiring their freedom, far more often than not, do not learn any of the things that the Board requires. Yes, at all 35 California prisons, incarcerated people are not informed of, or not properly taught, the specific Board requirements to know to be found suitable, are not provided material or lessons regarding the requirements, and do not receive training to prepare for hearings. In at least 95 percent of the self-help groups, such Board specifics are not provided, although a couple of others have recently started doing so.
Most prisoners do not have a clue about such vital factors as: Connecting the Dots, ACE Events, Causative Factors, Triggers, Ripple Effect, Being Prosocial, Minimizing, Empathy and Remorse, Insight, Cycle Of Violence, or Parole and Relapse Plans. Most prisoners believe that by simply spending 15, 20, 25, 30 or 40 years or more in prison, the Board will grant them parole and release them back to society. Nothing could be further from the truth, and people end up spending decades languishing under the false premise that doing the time alone will result in their eventual freedom. This is a serious flaw in the lifer parole consideration system that has been ignored and overlooked.
But today we have the RISE Group, which bridges the gaps with what prisoners truly need to know in order to at least have a fair shot at parole hearings. The RISE Group has required weekly homework; reading, as well as writing assignments, which is the best type of personal study and reflection. The group participants also meet weekly for discussion of the weekly assignments, and other related topics. The RISE self-help group is practically as educational and life-evolving as a college course.
The sponsors and facilitators of RISE, Dave and Venessa, along with prisoner James C, do an excellent job of presenting the group in very relatable ways. California prisoners definitely need more of the RISE Group in order to learn what is needed on the journey of rehabilitation and a life free of crime ever again.
Eric Martin, B-60373
One of dozens, maybe hundreds, of testimonies of California's Incarcerated who have been helped by Life Support Alliance through our efforts and made possible by the kindness and generosity of our members.
next time you read a testimony like this, give yourself the opportunity to say, "I've been a part of this, I helped make this happen!" simply by making a donation.