Our Theory of Change
Instead of being a dehumanizing place of separation, where violence wins, where hate and alienation are ways of life, what if prison could become a transformative place of healing and peace?
This becomes possible as we heal our society’s cycle of violence.
By building a positive culture of empowerment and self-actualization, Brilliance Inside creates a safe environment where inmates build resilience, liberate their brilliance and impact themselves, their families and our greater communities.
The Existing Cycle of Violence
The impact of our society’s cycle of violence is measurable:
We use here the incarceration cycle as one of many depictions of our society’s cycle of violence. In each of its forms, this cycle
Perpetuates itself across generations
Breeds violence as past hurt creates future hurt
Has no end as it feeds upon itself
In most households where I - Mariette - grew up, families had at least one car, usually several. When we kids turned 16, we were given use of a car. Most of our kids today will have or did get a car to use when they turn(ed) 16. This is the norm.
Now, in the above paragraph, replace “car” with “gun”. This is the reality - the norm - of many prison residents’ childhoods. And you can even replace 16 with ages as young as 8!
Having grown up their entire lives in violence-filled neighborhoods, many prison residents say that they did not know they had other options. Even when they later recognize that we always have a choice, the residents’ past choices brought them to situations that felt helpless and without options. They often say they had to come to prison to discover other possibilities and choices.