Inmates at the Cook County Jail

Adult Programs

Criminon programs for adults are flexible and can be used in criminal justice diversion, re-entry, and by those who are currently incarcerated.  The delivery of the program may be done by correspondence courses or delivered on-site by trained Criminon volunteers. No matter where Criminon programs are provided the goal is the same. To rehabilitate the self-respect of those ensnared in the criminal justice system.  This is done by providing the education and tools needed to get started on the road to a productive and honest life.

Inmates at the Cook County Jail

Adult Programs

Criminon programs for adults are flexible and can be used in criminal justice diversion, re-entry, and by those who are currently incarcerated.  The delivery of the program may be done by correspondence courses or delivered on-site by trained Criminon volunteers. No matter where Criminon programs are provided the goal is the same. To rehabilitate the self-respect of those ensnared in the criminal justice system.  This is done by providing the education and tools needed to get started on the road to a productive and honest life.

Diversion Programs

Diversion programs allow individuals whose contact with law enforcement has resulted in criminal charges. These programs allow these individuals to acquire the life skills they need to be stable and to make an honest living without being incarcerated. Working with the judge program participants may receive reduced or modified sentences for successful completion of the Criminon program.

The first course that is recommended for a Diversion program is The Way to Happiness course. This course supplants confused and criminal moral codes with a moral code based on common sense. After this course, the Communication Course is recommended to improve communication skills and teach that conflicts and confrontations can be resolved with communication and not violence. Further courses would be recommended to address the individual’s needs. These courses can include: a Literacy course, the Learning Skills for Life Course, the How to Deal with Ups & Downs in Life Course, the Successful Parenting Skills Course, the Understanding & Overcoming Addiction Course and the Improving Conditions in Life Course. The Criminon program used as Diversion can change the life of an individual and set them on a path to become a happy and contributing member of society.

“When I was sentenced to this program instead of being sent to jail, I was happy for not getting a harsher sentence that I actually deserved. What I didn’t realize is that I was sentenced to a much happier life. When I walked into the Criminon center, my goal was to just get through it, satisfy my sentence and walk away. What I didn’t realize was that I was going to grow mentally, morally and to become a much better person. This program has taught me first how to read, study and comprehend information I’m trying to learn. This simple key unlocked in me what I always had. It gave me the ability to understand and comprehend what the teachers could not make me comprehend in school. I now have the key of how to study and read and understand what I read.”

Re-Entry Programs

Former inmates on parole and probation, whether they have been enrolled in a Criminon Course while incarcerated or not, can come to a community center location to take Criminon Courses or, in some cases may do them right in the parole and probation office. Criminon Courses are also offered on a correspondence basis.

The courses are geared towards giving the individual the life skills and vocational skills he or she needs to find a job, get an apartment and get started on the road to a contributive and honest life.

The courses offered are the same as the ones used in the diversion program and include The Way to Happiness Course, the Communication Course, the Learning Skills for Life Course, the How to Deal with Ups & Downs in Life Course, the Successful Parenting Skills Course, the Understanding & Overcoming Addiction Course and the Improving Conditions in Life Course, and if needed a Literacy program.

The Criminon Re-Entry Programs are designed to help individuals set off on the right foot and make it as an honest citizen.

“I finally saw that it wasn’t somebody else doing it to me, but my own actions that created my present and future. It is only by my own determinism that I can find and make the person I want to be and live ethically. No one can do it for me. I can only make it, we can only make it, if we are true to ourselves and live to the greater good of the greater number. I finally get it now. I will make that future that I can see where we all can make it. I understand now.”

Correspondence Courses for Inmates

Criminon offers free correspondence courses by mail for inmates. This grassroots program was instituted in 1989 by a handful of volunteers and continues to be administered today by hundreds of Criminon volunteers across the world. Through mail or email, trained volunteer supervisors administer correspondence courses to inmates. The Way to Happiness is always the first course, and when complete, the inmate can then choose from a list of options of the courses he wishes to take next, and continue until he has completed the program. The courses include Learning Skills for Life, How to Deal With Ups and Downs in Life, Successful Parenting Skills and Understanding & Overcoming Addiction.

The way the correspondence courses work is simple: An inmate finds out about the course either through word of mouth or materials provided to the prison. He writes in to start a course. Criminon sends him the appropriate course materials, which include the course book and the accompanying lessons and drills. The inmate reads a chapter or section of his course and then immediately does the corresponding application lessons. Such action ensures that he will see how the material actually applies to his life, and thus the learning becomes practical knowledge instead of some abstract idea.
All lessons must be answered and mailed back to Criminon where a correspondence course supervisor grades the responses and results of what the inmate has done. These are then returned to the inmate, who then either corrects what he has done on the previous chapter, or if everything was understood and applied properly, continues onto the next section of his course.

This approach guarantees that the inmate never goes beyond a section without complete comprehension, and the ability to successfully apply the lessons to his life. With these correspondence courses, any inmate in any part of the world can reap the benefits of the Criminon program, and can restore to himself his self-respect, his self-trust, and can learn to live with honesty and integrity – all of which combine to make a life of decency and happiness.

The Way to Happiness course has introduced an alternative to the failing life I once lived. An alternative that has challenged me to dare to succeed. I have been reborn. This course has resurrected from my conscious things which I felt were lost, i.e. self-respect, pride, love for myself and others, etc. I have been given a new lease on life and I feel that I can overcome anything. I have acquired the necessary tools, knowledge and understanding to excel in society. I have a second chance.”

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Criminon Correspondence Courses for Inmates

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