Welcome to the Freedom Within Project
The mission of the Freedom Within Project (FWP), also known as Freedom Within Prison Project, is to change the culture inside prisons and jails, from one of violence and gang oppression, to a place where inmates learn to take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, and actions through self-awareness and emotional literacy.
The impact of this work has a powerfully positive effect upon the inmates, their families, communities, and upon our society as a whole.
Concert produced in D-yard at Salinas Valley State Prison
The day following our Second Annual Freedom Within Prison Project Benefit Concert Fundraiser in Santa Cruz, FWPP members produced a musical concert inside Salinas Valley State Prison for the benefit of inmates in D yard. Two identical sets of music were performed between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm in front of 2,000 inmates, many of whom made it a point to express their gratitude. It was an incredible day full of heartfelt emotion, outstanding music, and beautiful weather.
The band was made up of a volunteer group of top-notch Bay Area musicians featuring: Tammi Brown, Garrick Davis, Doug "Dirt" Greenfield, Larry Graff, Steve Sofranko, and Paul Garcia. A few of the songs featured were Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues, Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower and Michael Franti's Everybody Deserves Music. Luke Lehmen, one of FWPP's own Educational Staff, opened the show with a song especially written for the inmates titled "Salinas Valley Prison Blues."
We were supported in this effort by our Program Director, Carolyn Hernandez, and the guard staff of the Salinas Valley State Prison. This show would not have been possible without their support.
Inside Salinas Valley State Prison:
Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) is home to America's most powerful prison gangs and is projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. The following video footage gives viewers a rare glimpse into prison culture as well as a look at the lives of some of the inmates who participate weekly with the Freedom Within Prison Project, as well as other programs.