16 Residents Graduate from 12 Week Choose Love COD Pilot Program
Newtown, CT (January 20, 2022) Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Choose Love Movement, and Helen Hanks, New Hampshire Department of Corrections (DOC) Commissioner, announced today the first-ever Corrections Choose Love Program graduation at the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women.
Sixteen residents participated in the 12-week this Choose Love pilot program created for DOC, and serves as a model for other correctional institutions across the United States. The program teaches how to thoughtfully respond to any situation with kindness by using the Choose Love Formula (Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion-in-Action). It demonstrates ways to handle adversity, have courageous conversations, and respond with love. It also promotes self-empowerment, resilience, connection, and optimism.
The Corrections Choose Love Program incorporates the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to ensure the material is accessible in a prison environment. The Corrections Choose Love Program includes daily engaging activities implemented during group sessions that reinforce and support social and emotional learning skills.
“In corrections, we have a social responsibility to engage in transforming lives for the betterment of the individual, families, and humanity,” said Commissioner Helen Hanks. “Choose Love is part of our path of transformation for people incarcerated in New Hampshire. By acknowledging that adults in our state prisons have experienced adverse childhood experiences and have had long-term negative effects on their conduct, the Choose Love program has the power to assist people in adopting lifelong skills focusing on self-regulation and social and emotional learning by creating a common language across our facilities.”
“I feel so honored to be bringing Choose Love to the New Hampshire Department of Corrections to spread hope, healing, and love to all,” says Scarlett Lewis, Founder and Chief Movement Officer of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. “Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and to see how it is transforming the lives of these men and women is truly remarkable.”
“I have been serving as Program Director of Choose Love for just over three years,” said Shannon Desilets, Choose Love Program Director for the State of New Hampshire. “Meeting the residents in the women’s facility is a day I will always remember. The impact was palpable. Choose Love has the power to change lives. These skills and tools may not have been learned growing up, but it is never too late for any of us.”
The Choose Love Movement includes school programs and many other no-cost programs like Choose Love for the Home, Communities, Athletic leadership, and the Workplace. The Choose Love Movement has been accessed in all 50 states and more than 120 countries, reaching 3 million children. Implementing Choose Love in NH Department of Correction’s facilities will improve all participants’ social and emotional learning to enhance the resident’s relationships and interactions with their families and communities, better preparing them for reentry.
Read Press Release from the New Hampshire Department of Corrections: