Newsletter - Issue 17:

Honoring Inmate Firefighters from California

The California State Assembly has recently honored inmate firefighters for their efforts in fighting fires for the year 2003— one of the worst fire sieges in California history.

Assemblyman Mark Leno of San Francisco authored Resolution 191, called the "Department of Corrections Firefighters" and officially honors California inmate firefighters for their efforts in the 2003 fire season.

Representatives from the California Department of Corrections and the California Department of Forestry were present to receive the awards.

More than 2,750 inmate firefighters, housed at one of 38 conservation camps in California, fought side-by-side with other firefighters during the fire season of 2003. Department of Corrections provides and supervises these inmates to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. These inmates worked a grueling 1.7 million hours on hundreds of fires, saving California taxpayers several million dollars on firefighting costs and potential loss of lives.

The Handling Drugs Course

"What a wonderful way of life. Drugs can and will destroy any chance of success or happiness to anybody's life. I always thought them to be the cure to all my problems — my sadness, my weakness, my failures, my pain. The drugs kept my eyes closed to the awful effects of what they caused in me.

"I now have been drug-free for some time. I can't say for sure how many days, but each and every one is a blessing to me along The Way to Happiness. The road is long and dusty, but I must remain on the path and not alter my course. It is goodness that I seek.

"I now realize that drugs have been the problem to cause the problems that have hindered my stride on the road. Without them my journey will be straight and true. This alone strengthens my pride and builds my self esteem.

Thank you Criminon, your help I shall not forget."

— D. S., San Juan County Jail, Utah

The Way to Happiness Course

"I am a firm believer that each and every one of us has a light source within us and it is up to us how bright it shines. This course has helped me in locating my light source, as well as given me a platform on which to emit this light in a positive way. I've been a wanderer of my own life in searching for what was missing. It is difficult to have self awareness when you are in doubt in many areas. It is true that the destination isn't as important as the journey. In my journey I am accompanied by Criminon. I've picked up the pieces that lay scattered within and began constructing the puzzle that has been my life, incorporating virtues like temperance, morality and tenacity— for they are safeguards that are uncompromising and unyielding.

"There is an old proverb that reads, "build a better world," says God. And we often ask him how? But God in all of His wisdom says, "Just build a better you." The course at Criminon is the supplies and materials that one needs to "build a better you." I know because the better me has been under construction and since life is a learning process, I will be under construction from this day forth.

"Thank you Criminon!"

— J. C., California State Prison, Susanville






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