New Beginnings - Educating Women Behind Bars - Page 2
Program founder Bette Buschow says “these are delightful women.” This is evident as volunteers are spending approximately 60 hours a week working with the inmates. Buschow has hopes that in two years her budget will grow from $157,000 to $320,000 thus enabling her to hire more employees and also to establish a resource center near the jail. The strength of this program is that it is relationship based, according to criminologist Meda Chesney-Lind, adding that the criminal justice system needs to realize that the needs of female prisoners are different from those of the male prisoners.
Authenticity is the focus of Resolana’s program with a rule displayed on the classroom wall stating that “We try to let our outsides match our insides as we explore and share the mysteries within us.” The women learn what freedom really means to them and develop anger management skills while in the program. When conflicts happen, their newfound anger management skills are reinforced and strengthened and the conflicts are defused.
Once the rules and expectations are understood, the inmates learn to express themselves through art – through drawing and painting. An inmate, incarcerated for a drug offense stated “this is for me now. I tried to give up drugs for my kids, for my friends, I’m going to die if I keep taking drugs.” Through Resolana’s programming, she will be supported in making this change in her life. “I feel like a beginning” the inmate added. That’s just what the Resolana program is all about. Educating and empowering the women inmates in this program to begin a new life!