Introducing The Enneagram Prison Project ~ A Non-Profit

In April of 2012, with the help of a now-assembling Board of Directors, Susan Olesek — an Enneagram Facilitator-Trainer based in California — founded THE ENNEAGRAM PRISON PROJECT (EPP), determined to bring the immense transformation she witnessed working with hundreds of inmates to the hundreds of thousands she knows are newly incarcerated every year in the United States alone.

Our Mission

EPP is a non-profit dedicated to the self-awareness education of the incarcerated, using the Enneagram. The education process includes in-depth application of the Enneagram system and its methodologies combined with mindfulness meditation and sensate-awareness practices.


Offenders Reoffend When They Don't Get the Help and Support They Need...

RE•CID•I•VISM - noun \ri-ˈsi-də-ˌvi-zəm\ - The Act of reengaging in criminal offending despite having been punished.

A 2002 study survey showed that among nearly 275,000 prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within three years, and 51.8% were back in prison. However, the study found no evidence that spending more time in prison reduces the recidivism rate. (Source:  Langan, Patrick A.; Levin, David J. (June 2, 2002). "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994" (pdf). Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

"Prisons are often the forgotten element of the criminal justice system until things go badly. Catching the guy and prosecuting him is really important work, but if we don't do anything with that individual after we've got him, then shame on us. If all that effort goes to waste and we just open the doors five years later, and it's the same guy walking out the door and the same criminal thinking,
we've failed in our mission."
— Minnesota Commission of Corrections,
Tom Roy April 7, 2011



OUR TWO MAIN OBJECTIVES

The ultimate objective of The Enneagram Prison Project is to reduce recidivism rates in each state of the nation and each country in the world. This reduces the number of victims and the amount of tax-payers' money spent. How do we do this? By making sure that people behind bars are doing more than just time. The incarcerated need to examine not just what they've done, but why. They need to dissect their interior lives, a place that is, for most, even scarier than the things they've done or the crimes they have committed.

Children in harms way all too often grow up to harm society. Once adult, they in turn cause immeasurable hurt and suffering by victimizing others and the society in which they struggle to become a viable participant. It costs an average of $47,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California. Capturing, reprimanding, and removing people from our communities takes an enormous toll on all of us. And after all of this? Most are released back into the population and their cycle just starts over. Many actually emerge from prison in even worse shape than when they went in.

This is not just a criminal's problem.

This is society's problem.

The second key objective is to improve the intrapersonal lives of those behind bars from the about-to-be-paroled all the way to the lifers and those on death row. People who have hurt others are hurting themselves. These women and men can live lives in abject misery and suffering. Statistics show that very high percentages of all incarcerated are victims of some form of severe child abuse and suffer psychological turmoil hard to comprehend for those who were raised in safe, nurturing, and supportive homes.


WHAT WE PLAN TO DO

EPP will facilitate Enneagram-based programs "on the inside," which provide an isolated environment for inmates to study themselves, their particular personality structure, and what triggers their reactivity. They will be assisted to understand the core motivations behind why they do and think and react in the ways that they do.

EPP  will also include basic meditation and mindfulness techniques in order to strengthen inmates' ability to observe their own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. EPP will teach inmates how to better self-regulate emotional terrain and impulsivity. Self-observation has been proven to accomplish the following results, among many others:

  • Gain direct insights as to why they're angry (a cover for something deeper)
  • Show how to manage and reduce overwhelming feelings and the need to act on these negative emotional triggers
  • Learn to master grounding techniques to reduce emotional stress that can lead to violent reactivity
  • Identify personality type strengths, challenges, blind spots, character weaknesses, and personal paths of development

The Enneagram Prison Project (EPP) plans to develop a large community of Enneagram trainers, specifically skilled in teaching to designated prison populations. Members of our society who have suffered when young and grew up to perpetrate against others need and deserve a razor-sharp tool such as the Enneagram to incisively extract them from violent, angry, self-sabotaging patterns. These individuals are deserving of facilitators who know suffering, who are skilled, who are adept with the Enneagram system, and who will bear witness to their process with wisdom, presence, and deep compassion.


SOME CRITICAL FACTS

The US has the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, with 743 people incarcerated for every 100,000 Americans. No other nation even comes close to these figures.

One in 100 American adults has been behind bars

In 2008, approximately one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was behind bars, or being monitored (probation and parole).

Of all those currently in U.S. prisons today, 8.5% are female and approximately 91% are male.

Total state annual spending on corrections is roughly $52 billion, the bulk of that number is spent running prisons.

Forty-three percent (43.3 %) of those released in 2004 were reincarcerated within three years.

It costs an average of $78.95 per day to keep an inmate locked up,
$28, 816/year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice estimates (reported by NewsOne), African Americans make up 13.6 percent of the U.S. population according to census data, but black men reportedly make up 40.2 percent of all prison inmates.

A black male is seven times more likely to be imprisoned than a white male. Socio-economic differerences considered key to this statistic.

Reenactment of childhood victimization is the major cause of violence in our society.

Numerous-studies have documented that most violent criminals were physically or sexually abused as children. (Groth, 1979; Seghorn et al, 1987)

Of the 14 juveniles condemned to death for murder in the US in 1987, 12 of them, or 86% had been brutally, physically abused and five had been sodomized by relatives as children. (Lewis et al, 1998)

A study of convicted killers reports 83.8% suffered severe physical and emotional abuse and 32.2% were sexually violated as children. (Blake, 1995) WCHAC-STATS http://www.annafoundation.org/wchac-stats.html 4 of 5 3/6/2005 2:57 PM

Eighty percent (80%) of women in prison and jails have been victims of sexual and physical abuse. These women are far more likely to be abused while in prison. (Smith, 1998)


These staggering statistics come with major social implications because prisoners don't have the luxury of examining why they're hurting, instead they stuff it, armor their hearts, and just hope to survive. Inmates also can't have jobs and therefore don't pay taxes, they can't care for their children at home, and they cost an average of $28,000.00 per year to keep behind bars. Tax payers are the ones that pay for this and still face being perpetrated against once again when offenders who are not rehabilitated are released back into society, oftentimes in worse shape than when they were incarcerated in the first place.

"Four years and hundreds of inmates later, there's one thing I know for sure: The Enneagram works. When properly understood, it is in fact a profound tool for personal transformation."
— Susan Olesek, Founder EP
P


MEET THE FIRST TO JOIN OUR BOARD

Susan Olesek | Founder | Enneagram Facilitator-Teacher
www.susanolesek.com

Rick Olesek | Co-Founder | Entrepreneur

Suzanne Dion | Communications, Enneagram Teacher
www.chaeldiongroup.com

ADVISOR

Melissa Rempfer | Non-Profits Consultant
www.givingexcellence.com


WHY ARE WE FUNDRAISING?

We have faith enough in this work to do it for free, and many times do just that. But we don't want to deplete the passion behind this effort before it comes to its fruition. We are raising what we need to not just survive, but to thrive. The work of self-realization is no quick-fix, that's not how it happens. This is life-long work.

To that end, the more carefully we lay the foundation for curriculum tailored to this population, gather Enneagram facilitators who are well prepared for the environment of prison, and the more prepared we are to financially support this well intentioned effort, the more people we'll be able to reach. We are all about providing the incarcerated with the internal, psychological, and emotional resources we and they need to set forth an extraordinary caliber of transformative work.

Get Involved - It WILL Take the Whole Village

ContributeIf you'd like to connect with
The Enneagram Prison Project, become involved on one or more levels or smply get more information, please call us at:
1 408 600 0074 or email us at:  info@enneagramprisonproject.org.


Working together we can make a much-needed difference.