HOW TWO WOMEN ARE CHANGING THE LIVES OF PRISON INMATES
“This is the best thing I’ve received so far,” a juvenile inmate from San Jose’s Juvenile Detention Center smiled as she received a certificate for completing IAHV’s Prison Program. “I want to be more patient. With the techniques I have learned in this program, I think it is possible,” she adds.
Another juvenile shared, “I feel like I have been released.”
Aparna Atmaram grins like a proud parent. She has been facilitating prison programs at the detention center for over a year now. “The amount of trauma they’ve been through is enormous. So much that even closing their eyes during the program is extremely difficult. It is wonderful to see them transform in a few days, to see them smile from their heart and turn hopeful,” says Aparna.
As a working mom and engineer by profession, Aparna’s life has become intertwined with the detention center where she is a regular visitor and program facilitator. “I see them as my own kids,” she quips.
Over two thousand miles away from Aparna, Paola Gutt is leaving her Miami home to pick her girls from school. Like most days, this day has been a busy one. As a faculty with The Art of Living, she organizes and teaches Happiness programs in her city. As a mother, preparing lunch for her daughters, sending them to school, picking them up, and spending quality time with them adds to her daily list.
Though that is not all.
Within an hour of dropping her daughters’ home, she will be hitting the road again. This time to the Homestead Correctional Institute, an hour ride from home - a prison where she has been conducting prison programs for the past five years.
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