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The men at Kern Valley State Prison and Lancaster Prison in Southern California spearheaded The Giving Back Project in early 2020. This initiative identifies creative ways for people who are incarcerated to give back to the communities with which they are connected. These creative connections then manifest in the real world, in local communities.

Based on this model, CPP hopes to help facilitate The Giving Back Project in other communities. Murals, other forms of public art and artistic expression, ‘zines created, written and published by people who are incarcerated are just a few examples of what can arise out of The Giving Back Project. If you have an interest in helping to spearhead The Giving Back Project in a local facility and community near you, you can read about examples and opportunities to volunteer below.

We want people to look at prisoners as part of the community, because they will be part of the community.

Leann Bertsch, former Corrections Director of North Dakota Dept. of Corrections

Some Examples of Giving Back Projects

Artistic Expression

Through song, dance, poetry, movement, music and spoken word, the men hold performances to raise money for their Giving Back Projects

Holiday Greeting Card Fundraiser

Artists are donating their artwork to create a box of greeting cards to sell around the holidays. Proceeds will be divided up between the various Giving Back Projects.

Origami for Foster Youth

The men have spent dozens of hours creating Origami art to send messages of hope and positivity to the foster youth in California.

Volunteer with
Compassion Prison Project!

Join us in transforming prisons and communities through compassion.
Check out our Volunteer Opportunities for this project below...

Project team Leader

Lead the development of the The Giving Back Project, develop volunteer training on components of The Giving Back project, recruit team members, train volunteers, intersect with other team leaders on shared goals.

Level of Ownership:
Project Leader
Time Commitment: 
Weekly for 2 Hours


Local Artists

Complete 2 hour training to become a The Giving Back Project volunteer. Participate in Giving Back Project team update meetings once a month for the duration of your specific project. Implement a Giving Back Project with people who have completed a Step Inside the Circle and ACE awareness [program] within a prison facility. Coordinate with local communities.

Level of Ownership:
Team Member
Time Commitment: 
20-60 hours depending on the complexity of specific project.


Donate Today

CPP is a not-for-profit, grassroots-based organization. Big changes are made in small steps and we value the amount of every donation. Your contribution directly supports CPP's projects to achieve its mission to transform prisons and communities through compassionate action. All donations are tax deductible. Please consider donating today.

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