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The Founding of Lifespring

Reflections on the Worth of Lifespring

The Business Acceleration Workshop

The Basic Training In Federal Prison

How to Realize Your Dreams and Improve Your Life

A Graduate's Story

The Basic Training In Federal Prison - Page 2

The training team, headed by Bob Kausen, consisted of 17 men and women offering their gift of inner change and a new direction to the severely troubled women. To those of us who had participated in the training at the men's prison at Ft. Grant, Ariz., the contrast between the attitudes of the men and the women was immediately striking. It clearly demonstrated the strong, traditional differences between the male and female roles as played in our society.

On opening day, the men at Ft. Grant had entered the training room with a hostile"show-me" attitude. They were, frankly, doubtful about this "chicken-shit" outfit that had come in to spread its light, and they did not hesitate to say so.
In contrast, the women at Pleasanton had restrained whatever hostility they may have felt, hiding it behind a screen of politeness.

As the training proceeded, the men were more aggressive about participating either positively or negatively. They were flat-out honest and would stand for no "bull shit!" For instance, during one of the games, the men became frustrated and angry because of the confusion in the rules. I was really fearful that violence would break out as they argued angrily with each other and the staff. The women breezed through the game without any display of resentment, calmly ignoring the aspects of the game which had infuriated the men to the point where the staff was forced to call the game off. The women found the game frustrating but showed no anger.

The women were slower to respond, much more restrained at first, and less critical of the processes. Yet, in the end, they were just as strongly affected and involved. As they sat attentively in front of the platform, they resembled the ordinary membership at a PTA meeting. They were a cross section of all types: the housewife, teacher, bookkeeper, waitress, sorority girl, bank teller, stenographer, truck driver, and business woman.

Of course, they were also bank robbers, armed robbers, dope dealers, addicts, prostitutes, burglars, and murderers. Really rough ladies, some with long records. A number of non-addicts had been imprisoned merely for being "mules." That is, they had transported illicit drugs from supplier to market place.

Many of these had been taken advantage of by men because they looked innocent. There were several motherly looking older women and attractive and refined younger women who had been arrested as mules. To women in need of money, the high pay and purportedly low risk had proved irresistible, but it had landed them in the joint.

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