At the first Alumni Writers’ Retreat on November 23rd, I experienced true friendship and understanding from my fellow alumni. more
InsideOUT Writers is honored to be a part of a community of organizations and individuals who are committed to transforming the juvenile justice system. This column highlights people who are making a difference. In this issue, Eliana Yoneda, IOW’s College Intern, shares how her recent trip to Africa reminded her of IOW.
Last holiday season Leslie Poston, IOW’s Director of Programs, wrote about the emotional hardships our students face when spending the holidays in the halls. This year, IOW was awarded a Book Wish Grant from First Book and will receive 420 brand new books that will be distributed to students in the halls. more
When asked, “What does it mean to teach for InsideOUT Writers?” our Writing Program teachers understand that it’s both a philosophical and practical question. They also know that the experience itself provides the real answers. And those answers – what it means to share a conversation, guide a writing exercise and facilitate a space to laugh and heal – are life changers for both the teachers and the students. more
Welcome to Fall,
As we prepare for the changing of the seasons, I wanted to take a moment to share a heartfelt letter from one of our former teachers, Adam LoCascio. more
Working with Incarcerated Foster Youth
When I first entered the juvenile correctional facility in 2000, I had no idea that there were so many foster youth behind bars. Having grown up in the foster care system myself and watching as my brothers were incarcerated, it was as though I had gone back in time to my own youth.
AM I A HERO OR A VILLAIN?
I think I am a hero in my own way but I did act like a villain at a point in my life. I do feel sorry and I will act like the hero that I know I am and that my family knows that I am. more
The first time I walked into Unit J, I saw a few rows of boys with oversized sweatshirts draped over their shoulders sitting in front of a roll-away television. Some were squirming in their seats while others watched the screen attentively. Looking at my class roster, I saw a column of birth years that started after 2000. Their round faces reinforced the fact that the boys of Unit J are among the youngest juveniles incarcerated in Los Angeles County. They were about to be my first IOW students.
After several years of volunteering and informal work with young people in the criminal justice system, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) was officially launched as a non-profit community based organization earlier this year. ARC founder Scott Budnick, who is a former IOW board member and current teacher and member of the Advisory Board, is a successful Hollywood producer who has had a long time passion to help young people in the system. more