What does CRI mean to the men in our program?
Read their comments below.....

Pre-Release

“CRI is allowing me to discover my humanity through discussions, group participation and printed material on physical and domestic violence that have many dynamics besides interpersonal physical partner violence.  Understanding anger, abandonment, and anger management,  I now understand how to cope, control and release my anger in manners that don’t harm or hurt others.  I further understand that personal guilt can affect how I interact with others on social and personal levels and not to allow such guilt to control my life, actions or relations.  I’ve also learned that there are many aspects of emotions such as, emotional intelligence, emotional handicapped, emotional ignorance, emotional hypersensitivity, and emotional detachment.  In conclusion, if I had knowledge of these matters, I would not be in prison now. But the greatest part of CRI is the gift of knowledge that’s allowing me to become a better human being for the day I’m released back into the community.”  
 
 “In a nutshell, CRI is the best and only chance I’ve been given in 19 ½ years to figure out what has happened in my life to lead to my present day situation. With this chance, I will do all I can to learn about myself enough to get out of prison. Of course none of this would be possible without the help provided by CRI concerning transitional housing and the network they provide on the streets to help with the transition back into society.” 
 
“CRI is the most thorough and encompassing program I have been involved with. Spending a whole year on emotions is proving to be as difficult as it is a necessary component. It allows us to really spend time examining and exploring our pasts from an emotional perspective truly allowing us to integrate the knowledge and insight the curriculum has to offer into our personal practices. By developing the emotional intelligence necessary to understand our emotional histories, we gain the fundamental functioning required to succeed at any future endeavors. Along with the support they provide in preparing for and being paroled, CRI is an exceptionally unique program that is making a great difference. I am grateful for the opportunity to receive what they have to offer.” 
 
“CRI means so much. It means I have finally found the group that has actually helped me learn about me. For so long, I had been searching for ways or methods to dig deep inside myself to learn or understand why I would feel a certain way, or think a certain way. I’m not proud of a lot of things I’ve said and done in my life, and today, it is important to me to know and understand the ‘whys.’  I needed answers and CRI has helped me tremendously to find those answers. I look forward to each week to attending our group meetings. I wish we could meet more.  For now, I’m just thankful and so grateful that S.Q. (San Quentin), Collette and the facilitators have blessed us with this opportunity. Thank you.”  
 
“CRI has taught me how to change the perspective I saw the world as. I learned that if I was to change as a person, I must first change my views; the way I viewed not only the world, but myself as well. Stage by stage, little by little, the CRI program taught me how to do this. For example, I learned that it is better to understand than to be understood. Being taught how to get in touch with my own emotions has allowed me to be empathetic to my fellow human beings.  The CRI program is geared toward showing how to heal oneself in positive and constructive ways. Emotional intelligence, domestic violence, post-incarceration syndrome, dealing with anger, and knowing your triggers are a few of the many classes CRI has used to enrich my life here in prison and skills I will use upon release. Though I am benefitting from attending CRI, so does my family and friends in the community with whom I share the information.” 
  
“I have been incarcerated for 20 years and 3 months. During that time I have transitioned through several stages of personal experience and growth. Since I have been involved in the CRI program here at San Quentin, my knowledge of self as well as my knowledge of others has been enhanced. I now know why my life took this path and why I chose the lifestyle that brought me here. I feel and believe that CRI is a step in the right direction as far as my returning to society. CRI means having the necessary social understanding, skills, and knowledge to transition out of prison.” 
 
“CRI means a new beginning. It is the scientific study and application of the basic DNA of positive human interaction. CRI is an overview of self-investigation, an in depth study of our emotional intelligence, feelings and how to recognize them and alter past negative behaviors that led to crime and substitute them with productive, positive and improved behaviors and actions that lead to a more successful and fulfilling life.” 
 
“CRI is giving me the tools to see that I can change from the person I used to be. It has helped show me where I went wrong in life and has given me a better understanding of myself and why I did what I did. I look forward to more groups in this class.” 
  
  

Post-Release

"Just to say a few words, as if a few words could ever cover all CRI does.  But for me, my experience began in 2011.  I entered CRI unsure of several things concerning my parole.  I was planning to parole to LA but half way through the program I realized the significance in remaining in Northern California.  Why, because CRI offered me the best chance at being successful and supported. 
 
I appeared in front of the parole board in January 2014 with rock solid parole plans thanks to CRI.  CRI provided me with all the essentials to begin my reentry into society.  I was not wanting for anything.  But the assistance, case management and support did not end there.  Shortly after my release I was placed in a very difficult situation and was advised I could no longer live in the transitional home I was in.  CRI realizing that I was in a bad situation, looked and researched until they found a suitable place that met my needs.  The skills that I had learned while attending the extensive curriculum at CRI has helped me tremendously over the past six months.  CRI's assistance in my reentry has fast tracked my successful transition into society".  -David
 
"I am writing to confirm that California Reentry Institute is everything you  have been told to date.  Without it I would have had no clue how to proceed with transition back into society after years in prison.  CRI staff has been nothing but efficient and most of all, caring, in their efforts to provide me with every available piece of information and assistance necessary to successfully reintegrate as a productive citizen."  -Greg
 
"I am writing this to thank you for your support and to talk about what CRI has done for me.  CRI has been a blessing to me inside and outside of prison.  While in prison they helped me with a variety of things anywhere from preparing for my freedom to life skills that I needed when I was released.
 
Coming out of prison they have been by my side.  CRI provided me with the necessary items that I needed upon my reentry.  CRI has also been there for my family.  Even though I have a family that loves me and will do anything for me, they don't understand the things that I need to make my reentry back into society easier, they have been able to call the CRI family to ask questions if needed.  I am really grateful for CRI."  -Billy
"Dear CRI Supporters, I want to thank you for all of your support to the CRI program.  I was one of the inmates that you helped to get back out in the free world, and I am so grateful for all of the help and support you give to the CRI program which continues to help so many people in and out of the prison system.  God blessed me with my freedom and a wonderful wife and family that love me, and now thanks to CRI, I have the tools to deal with everything that comes my way."  -Dave