“I’ve seen many men cry, touch each other, share from the gut and the heart. To witness men inside prison opening in these ways, despite the harsh training to stay closed and tough … has brought me a hope and joy for the goodness and resilience in men – and for the safety and sanity of the world I live in.” – Jericho Circle Project Staff Member
Steven Spitzer, Ph.D.
Steve is married and lives in Bolton, Massachusetts with his wife Susan. He and Susan have three adult children and a granddaughter. Steve taught Sociology at Suffolk University in Boston for 36 years. He holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University and has had extensive training in transformational work with men, group process and personal healing. He retired from teaching in 2016 and is currently Professor Emeritus at Suffolk University. Steve founded the Jericho Circle Project in 2002 where he serves as President.
Steve became passionate about healing work with men in prisons when he discovered, through his own journey, that initiation could be a powerful vehicle of personal and social change. Based in part on his experiences and training with The Mankind Project and The Inside Circle Foundation, Steve helped develop, refine and apply the Jericho Circle model. Over the last 15 years, the model has been applied and refined in more than a dozen correctional institutions in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and California.
Steve has received extensive training and certifications in Internal Family Systems, Integrative Restoration, Family Constellations, psychodrama, trauma interventions and other healing modalities. He has published numerous articles, edited collections, poems and essays on emotional maturity and other “journeys of the heart” for men.
Steve currently serves as the Mission Coordinator for the Mankind Project in New England and has received the Ron Hering Mission of Service Award from the Mankind Project in 2003. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Inside Circle Foundation in California.
Vernell P. Ludwig, M.B.A.
Vern and his wife, Susan, were married in 1968 and live in Watertown, MA. Their two children and two grandchildren live in the greater Boston area. He is retired and his interests include cycling, poetry, electronics, and woodworking. He is an active student of the Ridhwan School and its Diamond Heart work, and in the spiritual tradition of All Nations Lodge Ceremonies.
He began weekly Volunteer work in prison with inmates at FMC Devens in late 2001. He has volunteered continuously since in State prisons in MA, RI, WI, CA, and NY. He has served Jericho as Vice President since 2002.
He grew up in northern IA and earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1966. He was on active duty in the Mekong delta region of Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 as a Navy Civil Engineer Corp Officer and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for his service. In 1972, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He then worked for several years in home building and real estate development in IN and MA, followed by energy consulting. From 1975 to 1995, he was with Panhandle Eastern Corporation of Houston TX. His assignments included seven years as EVP and President of Algonquin Gas Transmission, an interstate natural gas pipeline subsidiary in Boston, and later as VP of Corporate Development, in Houston. After three years as President of Test Devices, a jet engine test provider in MA, he retired in 2002.
Lawrence Cotton, P.E.
Chair of the Board and Chief Operating Officer
Larry lives in Norwood, MA. He retired in 2016 from a career as a structural engineer. He is close to his family, most of whom live nearby. His interests include photography, dogs, camping, hiking, and social justice issues. Larry is active in his Unitarian-Universalist congregation and in the ManKind Project.
Larry joined Jericho Circle in April of 2008 at MCI-Norfolk where he has continuously sat in weekly circles. He has staffed a total of 16 Jericho Circle Weekend Intensives at MCI-Norfolk, Bay State, and FMC Devens. Larry has also served with the Inner Truth Circle at the ACI-Moran Correctional Institute in Rhode Island and has staffed a Weekend Intensive with the Truth Project in Wisconsin.
He has participated in several trainings in leadership and facilitation skills offered by the ManKind Project.
In 2009 Larry completed a four-year apprenticeship program in Emotional Kinesthetic Psychotherapy — a form of heart centered body psychotherapy. He brings this learning to men’s circles behind prison walls. Larry feels honored to be a catalyst in the creation of physically and emotionally safe space where men can access their deeper feelings, wounds, and truths as a pathway to healing.
Larry is our liaison with the Administration at MCI-Norfolk and has served as Jericho Circle’s Chief Operating Officer since 2011.
In 2015 Larry received the MCI-Norfolk Volunteer of the Year Award as well as the Ron Hering Mission of Service Award given by the ManKind Project.
Michael has been involved with the Jericho Circle Project since 2016, variously supporting regular weekly meetings, monthly training events, and weekend-long intensives as well as a Reentry Group supporting men reentering the community from incarceration. He also works with a core group of JCP staff in a “top-down” steering role as well as a “bottom-up” training and development role.
Michael was a professional pilot for 35 years prior to retiring in 2014. As a pilot and later chief pilot and aviation department manager he worked in a research facility focused on airborne data collection for R&D in subjects of national interest.
Once retired Michael focused on two areas of interest—the creative arts and community service. Since retirement he’s been active in pottery and ceramics. He has been actively involved with the Mankind Project since 2010 and through them found out about JCP. Jericho Circle quickly became a good way of fulfilling his interest in community service volunteerism.
He also enjoys sailing, hiking, travel and theatre.
Jon lives in Massachusetts with his wife and dog. He began weekly volunteer work with inmates at MCI Norfolk in 2013 and has served Jericho as board member and treasurer since 2014. He works as a CFO for a real estate development company and is actively involved with the ManKind Project, a strategic partner of Jericho.
Glenn is a reentry advocate and investor who works with individuals, families and communities that are impacted by incarceration and that face various challenges to successful reintegration.
As a returning citizen who was released in 2010 after serving 21 years, Glenn has a passion for and commitment to assisting formerly and currently incarcerated men and women as well as their families.
In 2011, Glenn attended the University of Massachusetts Boston, receiving certification in the Addictions Counselor Education Program. For a brief period after his Umass studies, he served as a counselor and program facilitator to adult men and women who were in recovery from drug addiction.
For 2 and a half years, beginning in 2012, Glenn worked for Street Safe Boston as an outreach street worker. During these years he provided direct services and mentoring to proven-risk youth and young adults.
When Glenn isn’t working to support underserved populations and communities, he loves spending his time reading, pursuing educational opportunities, and investing.