Mission: The Inside Circle Foundation (ICF) creates environments in prison where men take full responsibility for what they have done in the past and mature psychologically and spiritually to achieve the inner development necessary to become healthy contributing members of society.
ICF in San Quentin
It is with pride we announce that ICF has expanded into San Quentin Prison. As of September 2013, we give a very warm welcome to BJ Wasserman, our new Executive Director. BJ’s commitment to social justice has benefited inmates for many years. His belief in transformational healing, in concert with the positive effects witnessed through the Folsom program, gave rise to his mission to spearhead similar offerings at San Quentin. With “budget cuts” and “program cancellations”, we humbly accept the welcome to share our work with a rapidly growing audience.
Well known author Lynne Twist, “The Soul of Money”, has known BJ Wasserman since he was in High School. Lynne is a fundraising guru and global visionary whose support in ICF and BJ is palpable through her words…
“I have known BJ Wasserman for over 20 years; and he is a man of amazing integrity, work ethic, passion and vision. As Executive Director of the Inside Circle Foundation, he is looking to revolutionize the justice system and prison rehabilitation. And I know that his organization is not only going to make a significant difference in the lives of all the prisoners they touch, but also our justice systems and communities as a whole.”
We would also like to thank Insight Prison Project, a restorative justice non-profit operating within San Quentin; they have sponsored us in this program launch.
More About ICF
The Inside Circle Foundation (ICF) exists to assist prison convicts in maximum-security prisons in taking behavioral, emotional and spiritual responsibility for their lives. ICF is a not-for-profit organization created by convicts and citizens dedicated to the personal growth of men in prison. With the aid of outside volunteers, convicts conduct weekly circles and occasional “week-end intensives” in the prison chapel where prisoners can safely work through and explore the issues that have prevented them from living up to their full potential as human beings. Gifts to ICF are deductible for US and California income tax purposes. For more information see “Who Are We?”
In Loving Memory
Anthony “Tone” Steadham
Excerpt from one of Tone’s favorite poems….
“It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.”
History of The Inside Circle
The Inside Circle Foundation was officially formed in January of 1999 by Robert Allbee. Rob, a poet and former convict himself, had been offering his experience and expertise as writing instructor and men’s circle facilitator on a primarily volunteer basis in the California State Prison at Sacramento in Folsom, California. As the request for circles and writing instruction grew, taking more and more time away from his capacity to earn a living as a carpenter, he began to explore ways to solicit funding for these program he felt so strongly about. Rob recruited the help of his friend Donald Morrison, a local accountant, and together they formed Inside Circle Foundation.