Finding Home, Transformation And Healing In California State Prisons

ABSTRACT FINDING HOME, TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING IN CALIFORNIA STATE PRISONS By Denneth T. Jackson Master of Arts in Chicano and Chicana Studies Because of my personal experience serving 21 years in California State Prisons, I chose to research what impact my increased exposure to Indigenous culture and spirituality had on me which eventually led to my being ruled suitable for release. The purpose of this research is to better inform others how Indigenous cultures and spirituality can be used for positive changes and liberation from the dominant society's discriminatory carceral system. I focused on the role Indigenous Elders and practices had on my transformation and healing in California's State prisons. My youth was marked by a violent life of anger, racial discrimination, and exclusion. This critical autoethnography documents my journey as a bi-racial person of color living in a racialized environment who found my home, my culture, my identity, as a way to heal. My thesis questions are: 1). How did I find transformation and healing in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation? 2). What roles did Indigenous Elders and Practices have on my transformation and healing in California's state prison system?