CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

The Importance of Celebrate Recovery Inside - By Inmate David Roybal

An Inside Leader’s Perspective

First, I wanted everyone to know that Celebrate Recovery on the Inside here at the Jamestown California prison facility is alive and well. Our waiting list for CR continues to grow as those of us working the program find hope and answers to the difficulties of life both on the inside and outside. We have witnessed a real increase of men finally serious about changing their lives. I continue to hear my brothers express their willingness to do whatever it takes to change, and gain back a purposeful life, free from drugs and alcohol. That’s truly exciting.

It’s a good thing when I say that I work very hard as the Ministry Leader to keep a steady pace helping to coordinate groups and help train leaders to keep up with the growing ministry inside. We are at capacity in both our large group and step-study groups, accommodating as many participants as we can into our Chapel and visiting room, without it becoming non-productive due to the noise level.

As Ministry Leader on the minimum custody facility for the past 3 ½ years and a participant of CR going on 5, I have witnessed a lot of guys come and go, heard their stories and witnessed both their pain and their breakthroughs. In all this, I too have had the opportunity to grow and find answers to my own issues. Isn’t it interesting how we all grow so differently? One may just be starting out and have a breakthrough in an area that you are still struggling with, even though you've been in recovery for a significantly longer time.

I think what CR Inside offers most is frank and honest discussion, questions and answers, coming from someone else wearing prison blues just like you. Similar backgrounds aid in promoting an attentive group. Thus bring about a more productive session.

Furthermore, CR Inside offers a Christ-centered recovery to men who would otherwise have little or no exposure to effective biblical recovery group dynamics. CR Inside offers a convenient place and time for men who otherwise would not seek out recovery, especially when our addiction and lack of self-discipline has kept us from recovery on the outside. Incarceration, unfortunately is the only time that some participants experience the moment of clarity necessary to stop and examine our lives for the dysfunctional delusions they’ve become.

On the bright side, I can’t tell you how many times men have stopped and mistakenly thanked me for making this program available to them. It’s available at a time where otherwise we would just vacillate, waiting for time to pass until our day arrives to parole, thus beginning the whole insanity cycle all over again. As for the Christ-centered part of the program, I just can’t say enough. As a born again Christian, I believe that all man’s problems begin with the spirit. Therefore; a Christ-centered program is paramount. A Christ based program addresses the root of our problems and does not simply go for the superficial quick-fix often based on a person’s will power, or staying locked away in a program for life.

Rather, CR Inside offers practical applications combined with spiritual awareness and dedication, teaching true surrender and openness to God and His principles. Thus, allowing Him to do the spiritual surgery necessary to cut away deep rooted character defects. CR offers us a complete deliverance from our hurts, habits and hang-ups wherein we are not taught will power for recovery but God’s power for recovery and victory. It is my humble opinion that God would not have us spend the rest of our life afraid of a chemical, liquid or herb, but rather teach, nurture and offer a better way of living. The temptations may come, but we will find a more powerful fulfilling presence of Him working within us. God uses CR to show us His more attractive desirable choice, that when compared to our past addictive life, puts everything into clear perspective, thus making the right choice simple and obvious for us to follow.

CR is truly the best recovery program offered at Jamestown as a clear avenue to receive answers, ideas and constructive input on staying out of prison as well as dealing with matters of the heart, soul and spirit. The transformation that CR provides to any participant who truly works the program and dedicates their life and will over to God, will carry over with them for the rest of tier lives no matter where they go. I know, because they continue to stay in touch long after they’ve paroled and connected to their local CR’s outside. Thank you for welcoming them.