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Redesigning Life in U.S. Prisons

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The prison system in the U.S. typically places a heavy emphasis on security, control, and punishment, and this foundation can create an adversarial culture within correctional facilities — incarcerated individuals versus correctional staff. But what if that culture could change? What would it look like? How would it impact not only incarcerated individuals but also correctional officers and other staff?

Restoring Promise, a program operated by the Vera Institute of Justice and the MILPA Collective, redesigns life in American prison units by promoting a culture of individual dignity, healing, character, leadership, and restorative justice. Using lessons learned from prisons in other countries, Restoring Promise charts a new and hopeful course for the future of corrections in the United States, with encouraging results from a recent NIJ-funded evaluation.  

NIJ host Josh Mondoro talks with Kyleigh Clark-Moorman of NIJ, Selma Djokovic of the Vera Institute of Justice, and Josh Somers of the MILPA Collective about the Restoring Promise program and its impact. 

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Date Published: July 9, 2024