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Featured Research on the Work of JCP and Allied Organizations

Unlocking Men: Men’s Circles in Prison

by David R. Karp

Despite mounting evidence of the effectiveness of correctional programs (MacKenzie, 2006; Cullen & Gendreau, 2000), offenders are woefully underserved. Two- thirds of all prisoners are released without any vocational or educational training; 75% have alcohol or substance abuse problems, but only 25% receive treatment while incarcerated (Petersilia, 2003, p. 93). Successful reentry is rare. Sixty-seven percent of former inmates are rearrested within three years of release, and 52% are reincarcerated (Petersilia, 2003, p. 140).

Members of a large voluntary men’s organization called the ManKind Project have observed the dearth of prison programming, and some have responded by volunteering in prisons and offering an innovative program model. One program was developed in 1999 at Folsom Prison in California. In 2002, a second program followed in Massachusetts. A third, called the TRUTH Project, began in 2006 in Wisconsin.

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