Evaluation of the Insight Prison Project

Founded in 1997, the California-based Insight Prison Project (IPP) is a nonprofit community-based organization committed to the design and implementation of rehabilitative programs tested within San Quentin State Prison. San Quentin is California’s oldest and best-known correctional
institution. The prison today includes life-sentenced and detriment-sentenced adult males. IPP programs are designed for incarcerated populations to develop insight and awareness about their emotions, behaviors, and motivations; practice new skills; and integrate these new skills into all aspects of their lives in order to correct entrenched negative behavioral patterns. IPP’s programs focus on a socialization process, a process of transformational re-education, that is designed to bring about a shift in ingrained patterns of harmful and destructive behavior; enable men to make life-enhancing choices; and then integrate them into lasting, positive behavior. Together, the qualitative and quantitative results of this study indicate that IPP’s programs offer a number of promising strategies to improve well-being and reduce violence, but also suggest that longer participation in IPP programming is associated with the desired cognitive behavioral outcomes.