Collaborative Solutions for Communities (CSC) in partnership with the DC Department of Corrections is committed
to helping women successfully transition home to their families. CSC has 20 years of experience helping families discover and
uncover their own strengths and abilities to heal and build futures together. Through Healing Circles, Family Group
Conferences,and one-on-one family supportive services, participants will find the strength and confidence to rebuild
their lives and families.

What is a Family Group Conference?

  • A time for families to come together to find solutions to problems that strengthen the family unit.
  • A meeting that places you and your family members at the center of the decision making process.
  • A time for you to set goals and outline the necessary steps to achieve those goals with the help of people who can put your plan into action.
  • A sessions that takes place in a location of your choice. This session may take as long as necessary to complete your plan.

“The Healing circle healed the wounds. When he gets out, we can look forward not backward.”
-Family Member

“Getting out my feelings and letting out how I feel about the past helped me move forward.”
-Former Inmate

“I got to tell people I hurt I was sorry.”

-Reformed Offender

What is Healing Circle?

  • A safe and supportive space for an individual transitioning home from incarceration to make amends with loved ones and family members.
  • A safe and supportive space for those harmed and hurt by the person’s past behaviors and incarceration to share their own healing needs.
  • A safe space where the individual and his/her family can begin to establish shared path towards success and positivity.

Healing Circles: A 10 Step Agenda

1)The Opening of the ‘Circle’ and Welcoming Statements
-You will open the Healing Circle session in anyway that you choose and each attendee will then introduce him/herself.

3) Sharing with the Group
-The transitioning person completes the following statement: Something I am especially proud of having accomplished since my imprisonment is…

5) Reconciliation
-The group discusses the following questions: Who was affected by our behavior and imprisonment? How were they affected? What can be done to help repair the harm? -Short Break if Needed-

7) The Group Brainstorms Resources and Options
-The group considers what resources the transitioning person needs to meet his/her goals and the necessary steps to fulfill those goals.
Ex: Housing, financial needs, continued learning, employment, transportation, important documents, and mental-emotional-physical health care.

9) Determining the Next ‘Circle’ Date
-Schedule a date for a follow-up ‘Circle.’

2) Explaining the Purpose of the Healing Circle and Reviewing Guidelines
-The Healing Circle coordinator will explain that the purpose of the ‘Circle’ is to restore relationships and bring healing to every attendee. Each person will have the opportunity to speak, and each person’s needs will be respected.

4) Focusing on Strengths
-Each attendee shares what he/she likes about the transitioning person and their children (if applicable).

6) What Do You Want for Your Future?
-The transitioning person answers the following statements: How do you want your future to be different than your past? What are your future goals?

8) Creating a Reentry Plan
-The attendees work together to create a plan that includes your support system. You and your loved ones decide on a timetable to help you complete your goals.

10) Closing the ‘Circle”
-The group compliments the transitioning person and he/she says how the ‘Circle’ process felt for him/her. All attendees complete a survey about their ‘Circle’ experience.

Adopted from Lorenn Walker, JD, MPH,
Program Coordinator at the Hawai’i Friends of Justice & Civic Education