Excercises in Empathy


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Covid-19 has caused countless interruptions to so many facets of our lives across our entire world.No place has been immune from this virus, including CTF Soledad State Prison in California, where there have been cancellation of programs, increased confinement, and rising concerns of mass infection.

On Tuesday, July 7th, Palma School Campus Ministers Jim Micheletti and Mia Mirassou continued their tireless work with current and former inmates by facilitating a Zoom conference designed to give hope to those “Brothers in Blue” incarcerated at Soledad. The Zoom call included members of CROP ("Creating Restorative Opportunities & Programs") who are Returning Citizens (formerly incarcerated),as well as Palma students, alumni, staff and guests, including CNN’s Lisa Ling who visited Soledad with Palma to film an episode of her series This is Life.

The Zoom call consisted of members of CROP answering the following questions and providing hope to inmates still imprisoned at Soledad:

  1. How long were you incarcerated?
  2. What is the most memorable experience you've had since being released?
  3. What is it like reuniting with family after decades in prison?
  4. What is CROP

The recording of the Zoom will be sent inside Soledad, where it will be aired on closed circuit TV to approximately 5,200 men.

The Zoom conference was an incredibly powerful experience that shed light on the power of forgiveness and transformation and the constant need to reexamine prison systems in the U.S.

To see the entire Exercises in Empathy Zoom call, click here.

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Related to theExercises in Empathy call, another “Lifer” who has worked extensively with us will be paroled in the next week. His name is James Willock and he is pictured on the right with two Palma students from the Class of 2020. James asked to have his first meal out as a free man withus(He has been in for 27 years I believe).We are so grateful for the opportunity. James has helped hundreds of men through the program, transforming their lives for peace and justice and the possibility of parole. Once released, he will be working with CROP and its members—Ted, Richard, Matt, and Jason (all Returning Citizens). – Jim Micheletti, Palma

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