98% of People Living in Prison Experienced Childhood Trauma

Abused children can grow up believing that violence is a solution. Childhood trauma can lead to imprisonment. When a child […more…]

Compassion Prison Project

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(310) 929-0535
Chief Operations Officer: Jayme Younger


To create trauma-informed prisons and communities.

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Personally I gained a lot of insight and knowledge from this program. It really showed me why I act how I act, why I do the things that I do, even though these things for a long time were things we were told not to bring up, things not to talk about, this group really helped bring that out in me and showed me that these are the right things to talk about. The trauma, the things that we’ve gone through in our past, they’re what makes us us, what makes us tick, what makes us do what we do for the reasons that we do it. I really feel like every institution needs a program like this.
Compassion Ambassador

The Goal

Compassion Prison Project has developed a trauma-informed program consisting of a 14-part video series with accompanying workbooks. This program is to be disseminated throughout the U.S. prison system, encouraging prison residents to watch the videos, complete the workbooks, and share their experiences in facilitated trauma-group discussions.

“The idea is to get everybody in prison into a regulated state, reducing violence and increasing compassion and empathy, as well as owning accountability. This creates safer communities both inside and outside of prison,” says Horstman, the organization’s founder and executive director.

The goal this year is to raise $2 million to continue getting the program to as many prisons as possible in the United States.

“When we change the lives of the men and women living in prison, we also help change the lives of their children and families, and this ripples into our communities and society,” says Horstman.

Key Supporters

California Department of Corrections
& Rehabilitation (CDCR)
The Good People Fund
The State of California
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris,
Former CA Surgeon General
Herb Alpert Foundation
Anne Eppley
Kristin and Jeff Worthe
Barbara Malatesta
Santa Barbara Foundation
Paul J. McCann