"On the journey of growth, my CLEAR volunteer encouraged me to challenge myself through the fear, anger, frustration, guilt and shame. This program offered me tools to move forward. If the topic was too difficult, I learned how to be more kind to myself. The quotes also helped me through difficult times. In fact, it encouraged me to write some."
"CLEAR provided extraordinary questions and materials. Each assignment motivated me in ways to accept responsibility for my actions.... The only thing that I have to say is that CLEAR helped me with accepting being vulnerable. I no longer value vulnerability as a weakness, but I value it as a strength."
"As always I give you and the whole CLEAR community and team the upmost respect. You all are very helpful and your feedback is always on point and I thank you for being a part of positive change in my life. Your feedback helps me better understand what areas I need to work harder at and dig deeper into. You have helped me more than you'll ever know and for that I say a sincere thank you."
"Allow me to say that I love how much insight you have. I love the time that you invested in reading my work and believing in me. I love personal feedback and this is the only time I received it. Thank you so much for the time that you've invested. I love how I was encouraged to dig deeper and how I was acknowledged for the insight that I offered. I truly felt cared for...Over the past 18 months you have given me things that will be in my heart for a lifetime."
“Thank you for your commitment, sacrifice, and service, and, maybe more importantly, for believing in all of us.”
“I really enjoyed the CLEAR program. The correspondence format allows us to continuing programming during these uncertain times and keep us connected to the community of like-minded individuals. All of the assignments posed questions that really made me stop and think deeply about the response, which is so critical to my development. I enjoyed the supplemental readings and would like to have seen more of them. One aspect of the program I enjoyed was the topics varied. I did not feel we were going over the same thing again and again. Also, we touched on a few areas that I have not thought about which was refreshing, like race, class, and privilege and cultural competency. The questions you posed in these areas were quite thought provoking.”
“Through the years of my incarceration, before VIP, I had discovered many things about my crime, victim and survivors. Then came this group, highly talked about I wanted in. I don't think I have ever gained so much insight as I have with CLEAR! They/You were not only lessons to learn, but how to learn them. CLEAR wanted you to do it with more depth, more dissection, and how to understand it. They/You wanted me to always do better!”
“I’ve learned that writing for me allows my thoughts and feelings to take shape. At times when I’m writing, my thoughts and feelings become a vivid scene in my mind's eye and it's easier to put words to what I’m seeing. During some of the lessons, concerning not only what I had experienced but also what I put people through, seeing the magnitude of the impact was truly humbling.”
“Forgiveness for me has been one of the hardest things for me to learn and work through. I know that it’s because of all the shame and guilt that I have been living with most of my life. But today I am able to understand that for me to truly do the work and hold myself fully accountable for my actions I must practice forgiveness. Forgiveness has to do with self-healing and self-acceptance. Without forgiveness one cannot learn and grow, keeping me from accepting the process and working towards taking full responsibility.”
“It is easier doing these assignments with VIP because there's a level of trust there. I love and look forward to getting your feedback. So it's easier to open up and be more vulnerable.”
“I have done some of these assignments before. But with V.I.P. all my assignments are more insightful and brings out the best in me. It's a level of bond and trust that I have with your program that makes me feel safe to be vulnerable. I can't wait for my next assignment.”
“Your program has truly been a blessing for me. It caused me to push my thoughts, feelings to become a reality on paper where people can see. This has been truly a mind-opening experience that I never thought I could do. Though this program is about to be over, I would love to continue to be a part of this organization. It is the best program that I've been a part of. I've never been challenged like this and I love it. Thank you guys. When I gave up on myself, doubted my self, you guys didn't fail me. You continued to work with me and give me assignments that challenged me to succeed.”
“Every exercise that I do is always helpful to me. I always learn new things.”
“This whole exercise was helpful for me being better versed at expressing my feelings in a sincere fashion which I feel will go a very long way in my upcoming battle with the parole board. [VIP] did a very good job with the assignments and questions. For me, it was the perfect balance to focus on material and not get overwhelmed or restless over the message. ... I have developed better insight on expressing myself, my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I have developed a better understanding of what empathy is and means and I am capable of expressing it in words. I can apply this in building better relationships, being a better human being, being in tune to my feelings, having emotional intelligence and being able to show the parole board I am a decent human being worthy of a second chance at life.”
“What stands out for me is that this program helped me get a good understanding about insight because I didn't have a clue on how to use the right tools to help my victim and understand the pain that they live with each and every day. CLEAR could support me by keep giving me the right information so I could better myself. No matter what I will keep learning so I won't make the same mistakes.”
“I not only like the CLEAR program, I feel that I need it. The thought provoking nature of the assignments requires me to dig deep and I am barely scratching the surface of some of the issues and insecurities that would get me to the point where I could take a man’s life. So I am willing to do whatever I have to do to continue CLEAR at whatever capacity no matter where I end up.”
“I never want to be left out of Victim Insight Project even if I have to be enrolled in a correspondence course until I can get to a prison where (VIP) may be at... What's important to me is to continue in this program which I have found very helpful to me and a decorated program to those who take this group with high demand as myself.”
“CLEAR Facilitators can further support me by allowing me to continue this program. Whenever it starts up again. And by sending me feedback on how my work was. I am truly grateful for the opportunity you all have presented me with. God bless and be safe.”
"Honestly!...This was the best program I have taken. The letters I received from my CLEAR volunteer were in-depth, genuine, and sincere. I have programmed for the past 11 years. However, the feedback from other programs cannot compare or match with the material as well as feedback."
"Justine and the volunteers at VIP gave me the courage to reexamine my life and the choices I made and how those choices affected others. Writing about my childhood experiences as well as those whom I victimized was one of the most difficult challenges I had to face. There were moments when I wanted to give up, because I no longer wanted to be burdened with feelings of fear, anger, guilt and shame. However, I was encouraged to pause, breathe and take a break to gather my thoughts."
"The feedback you gave me on my accountability assignment I took with me to the Board and incorporated into my closing statement. So a big thank you for your feedback and for your encouraging words since Day 1."
"Working via correspondence is perfect for me, my style. I'm a serious introvert in a crowd so I don't concentrate well, it seems like pressure. One-on-one I'm good, so this is perfect. I can go over the course as much as I like to get an understanding at my pace without a need to compare to others. Thank you."
“Thank you so much for putting 100% of you into this program, and 100% heart in how you personalize - deeply personalize your response to my letters. If I didn't feel it, I wouldn't believe it. Please give my thanks to the volunteers.”
“I have a deeper insight and a better understanding of my thoughts, actions and lifestyle that I was living. Also how my actions were impacting anyone that was around me or my surroundings at the time. The ripple effect is very impactful. It gives me some inner peace to be able to connect the dots from my childhood to adulthood.”
“If ever there was a kick in the pants, CLEAR was it! First off, I commend the counselors of CLEAR: your education, your views, your direction and your dedication to us are far above anything I have ever been involved with. It has been the experience most rewarding. It was not "here is your work, thank you". It was "here's your work and would you consider this or that, think about it." You wanted me to understand everything and more. CLEAR is a lesson that I will carry with me for a long time.”
“I felt valued by V.I.P. and it is because of the feedback. It is because the volunteers took the time to give me honest feedback that I feel this the best, most beneficial program I've done... You are helping me make amends which is one of the most important goals of my life. Thank you.”
“This process has allowed me to see the value of a healthy minded person. I learned to value myself not only in terms of the potential within but also the fact that I am a human being and I have accepted me for who I am and what I have to offer.”
“My favorite thing about VIP is the support and feedback from its members. I have taken many groups and classes over 18 years in prison. And honestly, this is the first and only program that I have been a part of that has taken time to read my assignments and give me feedback. It's a true feeling of being a part of a family who truly loves and cares about you and what happens to you.”
“I truly appreciate and respect your program and everything that it offers. Your program has helped me grow in so many ways. I am so grateful for your help and feedback. I am making a lifetime commitment to you and your program. Thank you for your hard work and support.”
“I have developed more insight into myself in terms of how far I have come in my growth and development. I have also developed a stronger sense of empathy. This will all help me go a long way towards being found suitable for parole. This will also go a very long way toward being a better man and human being. I will apply all this to remain grounded and to stay humble. To never lose focus on how far I have come and to help others as well as remain in tune with my feelings.”
“I'm thankful to the CLEAR family for allowing me the opportunity to open up and be my true self. These assignments are needed and we need to be challenged. I appreciate the CLEAR family.”
“You are doing a wonderful job. This class has helped me very much. This assignment forced me to articulate many things I know the Board wants. These are the "whys." I can't thank you enough.”
“I would like to begin by expressing my profound gratitude towards all of you that are taking time out of your lives to help me and all of our community here at DVI. I also want to say thank you for the wonderful words and the encouragement that is given. They have helped me more than you guys can imagine. Thank you for everything.”
“The CLEAR program and the curriculum are top flight in my book ... CLEAR is offering us a new lease on life.”
“I do think that in all institutions where men are serious about elevating their own cultivation of empathy and repair, this program would be the only one for them.... The time and effort spent creating this needs to be made available for all those who cannot receive the in-person facilitator experience.”
“What has help me develop healing and self-acceptance is self-help groups like this.”
“First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your services with regard to this curriculum. This correspondence program has been meeting all my needs during this quarantine and lack of programs. During a time that my personal reformation, rehabilitation in addition to my pursuit for understanding, insight and enlightenment could have grown stagnant, you guys challenged me and enabled me to stay on track and grow. Thus I am genuinely grateful. Though I must admit it was a bit discouraging that we didn’t’ have the opportunity to have in person session for I can only imagine what this group dynamic would have been like and a full 18 month course at that! With that being said, I am interested and eager to continue participating in the 12 month correspondence course as well as participating in the Inside Facilitator Training program.”
“I'd like to take some time to thank you for the time and effort in helping me gain a better understanding. This is a great program and I feel fortunate to be in it. ..I would be honored to take part in the next phase. Thank you all for the opportunity to do so.”
“Allow me to begin by saying CLEAR (Support) has been a wonderful and helpful group. I would love to be in an in-person group. I think the Solano Community would benefit from a CLEAR group. I myself would like it. Thank you so much... you are a true blessing.”