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Heart to Heart Program at GCI

Heart to Heart Program at GCI

The Heart To Heart Program is a youth outreach workshop held by staff and inmates.  The program is designed to reach out to juveniles over the age of 14 who may or may not be juvenile offenders. Our goal is to present to them the realities of incarceration. It will encourage them in making appropriate choices through the interaction with select inmates who have lived through the consequences of misguided decision making.

The program has been at GCI for at least nine years. The offenders are able to receive community service hours for Lorain County for their participation. The workshop consists of 3 parts: Part 1 is a brief tour through two of the housing units. Part 2 is a seminar-type forum where three or four inmates take turns speaking for five minutes to the entire group about various topics: Accountability, attitude, education, goals, actual realities of incarceration, drugs/alcohol, peer pressure, parenting, problem solving, resilience, family opportunity and trust. Part 3 is the final part where the youth are divided into small groups facilitated by the inmates who ask questions designed to get the youth to verbalize their concerns regarding challenges that they face as well as identifying possible solutions. 

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