system impacted and incarcerated individuals

The experience of incarceration can and should be a time of personal transformation where men and women who have been isolated from the social and economic mainstream can learn to assess and reset their perspectives and experiences with the world by developing insight and learning empowering skills in communication and contemplative practices like council.

Beyond Us & Them CICR program_prisons04

Beyond Us & Them believes that transformation must occur at the individual, family, institutional, community, and societal level. Our intention is to build the confidence, education, and advocacy skills of our program participants. Our council-based programming creates a vehicle for participants’ self-expression and self-advocacy, so that their engagement with the wider world helps to change prevailing beliefs


  • Incarcerated individuals and their families
  • System-impacted individuals & communities
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals on the journey of reentry
  • Reentry service providers


benefits of our programs in prisons

Physical aggression

Verbal aggression

PTSD symptomatology



Social connectedness




Researchers affiliated with UCLA and RAND Corporation found that our Council for Insight, Compassion & Resilience program for incarcerated participants demonstrated significant positive change in socio-cognitive functioning.

It revealed pronounced reductions in physical and verbal aggression and PTSD symptomatology, as well as marked increases in social connectedness, mindfulness, perspective-taking, and resilience.

programs for incarcerated individuals

Beyond Us & Them has been providing transformational rehabilitative programming for incarcerated populations since 2013. Our work inside prisons train participants to facilitate council sessions for their peers, empowering them to become positive agents of change, on the yard, and in their lives.

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what participants have to say about our programs:

group of incarcerated men taking part in the beyond us and them council-based prison program

recognized with the 2020 "Innovation in Corrections award" by the American Correctional Association

council for insight, compassion & resilience

Our award-winning program for incarcerated individuals has been offered since 2013 and has been launched in over two dozen California prisons. The program contributes to a shift in culture within jails and prisons and equips participants with tools for successful reentry and reintegration into their communities upon release.

council reentry program

There are so many challenges that formerly incarcerated individuals face upon release, including finding housing and employment, the stigma of being an “ex-offender” and the repair and renewal of supportive and healthy relationships with families and friends.

Beyond Us & Them's Council Reentry Program addresses the needs of formerly incarcerated individuals returning home and committed to successful reentry through individualized case management and referrals, regular reentry councils, mentorship and integration with other program offerings.

council reentry program_beyond us and them-sam_and family
System impacted individuals

system-impacted individuals and families

The repercussions of violence and incarceration are experienced not just by directly-involved individuals, but by entire communities. System-impacted families are experiencing immense trauma, stress, and uncertainty. The council practice is a powerful tool to engage families and create patterns for healthy communication, genuine understanding, connection, and healing.

To learn more about the power of family council circles, read Sam’s story, or participate in a Social Connection Council.

Leaving Prison Behind: A Council Before I Go

Leaving Prison Behind... is a beautiful and powerful illustrated novella that was created to be a resource for individuals facing the challenges of incarceration, rehabilitation and the path to freedom. It weaves the words, stories and insights of system-impacted individuals and those who support them and offers a resource section to support those on the journey of reentry.

Leaving prison behind book_jared seide_beyond us and them

supported projects


los angeles reentry collaborative

The Los Angeles Reentry Collaborative is an initiative launched and hosted by Beyond Us & Them that weaves a network of organizations and individuals providing services to the formerly incarcerated community with the intention of supporting successful reentry and reintegration and reducing recidivism in Central and South Los Angeles.

two male beyond us and them program participants hugging_LA reentry collaborative