Dallas County Jail

Early Program at Dallas County Jail

In the spring of 2007, Resolana was invited to bring its programming to the Dallas County Jail. At that time, most of the roughly 900 women incarcerated by the county were housed in the North Tower of the county’s Lew Sterrett facility and Resolana was excited to be assigned access to one of the two female classrooms there three times a week.

photo by David Williams

This class gave me the confidence to sign up for computer classes and now I feel open to learning and continuing my education upon release. — Dawn

The population in a county jail turns over relatively quickly compared to the population in a state jail or prison. The women in Dallas County Jail classes are typically awaiting trial or transfer to a longer term facility or are serving short sentences.

To adapt to this more transitory environment, Resolana piloted Grace and Grit, a class based on research into treatment models for women with histories of trauma and substance abuse. This class is structured into independent modules, each highly flexible as to length and content in response to the needs of fluctuating class participants.

photo by Laura Seewoester, Pegasus News

Time and time again, I come to Resolana and learn about myself and what I can become.  — Diriecha

Resolana also created a hugely popular on-going workshop series consisting of an ever changing medley of multi-disciplinary art activities and resource sessions. The creative activiities ranged from dance and visual arts, to InterPlay and playback drama, to writing and music. Yoga workshops, domestic violence lectures and informational sessions about reentry resources were also regularly thrown into the mix.

Over time, the waiting list of women requesting to join these classes and workshops grew to two to three times the number of women who were on the active roster.

photo by David Williams

I feel relieve they came. I feel happy to see the people who think I’m somebody.
I feel bless to be able to see this experience.
 — Rose

So Resolana was very excited to be assigned a dedicated program area in the new Kays South Tower addition to Dallas County Jail and invited to implement a comprehensive program for women there. Since the opening of the addition in the spring of 2009, Resolana has enjoyed full-time access to its own classroom space and has begun significantly expanding its services.

photo by David Williams

I really enjoy the class. I want you to put me on the roster forever please. — Jessica

photo by Laura Seewoester, Pegasus News

A Letter from an Inmate in Dallas County Jail

I have been attending Resolana since the first class ever held in Dallas County Jail. I guess that kind of makes me a veteran.

At first, I was not sure about Resolana. I was concerned about letting my walls down, especially in front of other inmates. As I’m sure you can imagine, some of these women thrive on others’ weaknesses and wait for you to let down your guard. However, one of Resolana’s strict rules is: things said in the group stay in the group. I have to admit, as far as I can tell, all the women have abided by this rule. We have actually become a tight knit group. All newcomers are accepted and brought in like family.

I want everyone who reads this to understand what a blessing the women who come to meet with us biweekly really are to us. These women show us love and compassion. They do not judge us for our wrong doings. All they want to do is help us to figure out why we do some of the things we do. Not only that, they bring us joy. They bring music, dance, drama, arts and literature into our lives, something we have none of in here.

I am honored to have met these women and privileged to have them as a huge part of my life. They have helped both myself and others discover who we are. They have helped us to know ourselves and to love ourselves again. They have helped us discover our inner child. They have taught us how to laugh again, how to cry again and how to trust again.

I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU! and HURRAH! to the women of Resolana.

Michelle W.   October, 2007

See also Dawson/ HOPE, Independent Program at Dawson, or reentry
See also Current DCJ Programming.

Resolana  –  PO Box #225175  –  Dallas, Texas 75222  –  USA.   Email: contact@resolana.info

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