(BOP) - It began with one inmate's vision to help his peers transform themselves by renewing their minds. Inmate Antonio Oesby, alongside Counselor Paul Marerro, developed the Mentality Adjustment Now (MAN) program at FCI Hazelton. The program, currently in its third class, focuses on developing a healthy and cohesive sense of self by encouraging inmates to share personal stories to increase their own awareness of emotions and thoughts. Participating men recognize and confront underlying issues, and learn how to respond in a positive manner. The group meets once a week for 12-weeks and focuses on forgiveness, encouragement, decision-making, anger, resentment, and dignity. The final session of the program focuses on the future and creating a positive path forward.
The change is real as noted by inmate Mark Thompson, a recent graduate, who describes the course as "ripping the blanket off of the past and facing it head on." Another recent graduate, inmate Dean Winslade, sums up his experience by saying "forgiveness is freedom" and he has learned to make his incarceration a more "redemptive time."