1. What is Criminon?
‘Criminon’ (meaning ‘without crime’) is a secular, non-profit, international public-benefit organization established in New Zealand in 1972 and in the U.S. in 1989. Criminon operates in the U.S. as a 501(c)(3) exempt corporation. We provide services inside and outside of institutions to rehabilitate criminals and prevent future criminality. Criminon accomplishes this by educating individuals and helping them to restore their own self-respect, thereby enabling them to become ethical and productive members of their communities.
The international headquarters of Criminon is located in Los Angeles, California. Our local program, CRIMINON New Life DC, is located and incorporated in Washington, D.C.
However, there are Criminon offices throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, South Africa, Russia, East Asia, and many other areas. CRIMINON International operates in over 2,100 penal institutions in a global network of 42 chapters in 38 nations. It weekly delivers curricula to over 10,000 offenders, probationers, at risk youth, and correctional staff.
Criminon utilizes criminal reform and rehabilitation technology developed by author and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard. Through many years of research, Mr. Hubbard discovered that a person truly becomes a criminal only after he has lost his self-respect. The restoration of the individual’s appreciation of his or her own worth is accomplished by Criminon through it’s program.
2. Who is L. Ron Hubbard?
L. Ron Hubbard was an author and humanitarian who dedicated his life to helping others. His works cover subjects as diverse as drug rehabilitation, criminal rehabilitation, education, marriage and family, and many other aspects of life. Mr. Hubbard personally worked as a Special Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1940’s. Through his lifetime of research he wrote over 500 titles and delivered over 3000 hours of lectures on his research and findings. As early as 1952, he began a criminal rehabilitation program with juvenile delinquents. He is also the founder of Dianetics and Scientology.
Criminon is not licensed to use and does not utilize the religious writings and technologies of Mr. Hubbard. It has the secular purpose of eradicating the scourge of crime, which plagues and, often, terrorizes our societies.
3. What is Criminon New Life DC?
Criminon New Life DC, Inc. is a secular, non-profit, 501 C 3 Corporation for criminal rehabilitation. It is located and incorporated in Washington, D.C. It has delivered courses for the Washington D.C. Department of Corrections for over twelve years, and before that, delivered courses in the Washington D.C.’s Lorton prison for over six years.
We do not provide services in housing, healthcare, mental health, transportation, job training, GED, or food assistance. We acknowledge and know that all of these support services are critical and essential for any returning citizen, or someone on parole or probation. However, also critical to the issues related to the transition of ex-offenders from incarceration to community is rehabilitation. Criminon New Life specializes in REHABILITATION services that address an individual’s problems which led to criminal behavior and which can send a person back to prison again and again. For each problem area, the Criminon New Life DC program has a separate section of instruction.
So, let’s be clear. By rehabilitation, Criminon New Life DC means eradicating the factors that create criminal behavior and addressing these exact causes of criminal behavior and resolving them so the person learns not only how to behave ethically and morally, but why he should. This understanding makes true reform possible and has given Criminon New Life DC the successes it now enjoys.
Our programs rehabilitate criminals by restoring their sense of self-worth so that they can become productive members of society and live honest lives outside prison upon release. Criminon New Life DC helps restore a person’s innate goodness and pride. A person on the Criminon program soon discovers he is the one in charge. Pride and self-trust return upon recognition of the betrayal of his own essence, the breaking of the one contract he must not break: the contract with himself.
We have delivered weekly programs for the general male inmate population inside the Central Detention Facility (DC Jail); for the re-entry inmates in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program; the incarcerated juveniles inside the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF); for the general female population inside the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF); for several reentry centers for returning citizens; and for probationers of the US Federal Court Probation Office of Washington D.C.
Some of our seminars and courses have included classes like “The Way to Happiness”, “Understanding & Overcoming Addiction”, “Learning Skills for Life”, “Recognizing and Overcoming Anti-Social Behavior”, and “Communication”.
4. What is the Purpose of Criminon New Life DC?
The purpose of Criminon New Life DC is true REHABILITATION of inmates and returning citizens to:
- Stop the ever-increasing rate of incarceration by breaking the cycle of inmate recidivism
- Restore to each imprisoned human being a sense of Self-Respect, Dignity, Trustworthiness, and Honor
- Obtain a higher level of survival with new abilities and skills to live life better and fuller
- Become happier, more successful, ethical and productive citizens
- Arrive at a point where they have real, valuable choices and options, and can choose again in life with good choices
- Learn how to not be viewed or considered as a danger or risk or threat by their love ones, friends, work associates, employers, and neighbors in their community
- Create a healthier, more productive society, composed of responsible individuals and stronger families
5. How does Criminon restore a person’s self-respect?
L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “If you want to rehabilitate a criminal, just go back and find out when he did lose his personal pride. Rehabilitate that one point and you don’t have a criminal anymore.” By addressing this point of rehabilitation, Criminon is taking effective action to end the repeating cycle of criminality and reform the prison system.
The key element of the Criminon program is The Way to Happiness Extension Course, based on a booklet of the same name. As the first step toward rehabilitation, this course is designed to give students knowledge of right and wrong conduct. A commonsense moral code, The Way to Happiness is practical and provides fundamental guides to behavior. Students do practical exercises on our courses and submit them to their Criminon staff and volunteers who reviews the work to ensure proper application of what was learned by the student. They maintain communication with the inmate and encourage him. When the course is completed, Criminon issues a certificate.
There are other elements in the Criminon program, some of which are delivered to the inmates in prisons by staff and volunteers. These courses deal with literacy, parenting, study skills, communication, overcoming antisocial behavior, drug rehabilitation and prevention, personal values and integrity and other life skills courses. This effective program of courses is what restores the criminal’s self-respect and his sense of responsibility to himself and his fellow man.
Additionally, it runs other criminal-related programs including programs directed to juvenile offenders (juvenile delinquents) with the aim of turning them away from their current path of crime.
Criminon replaces the criminal code of conduct with an ethical, common sense guide to Good Choices for a happier, more successful life.
6. What is Criminon’s involvement in medical and mental health matters?
The Criminon program is not a medical or traditional mental health program. We do not address medical matters but leave such matters to the determination of qualified physicians. Criminon does not treat the mentally ill. We do not operate on-site programs in the psychiatric wards of prisons and inmates in such facilities would not normally qualify to do an on-site Criminon program. We do not inquire about an inmate’s mental health status when delivering our programs. The only requirement for taking our classes is the willingness and ability to grasp, understand, and apply the materials.
Criminon strongly supports inmates getting appropriate care when they are ill. This is, in fact, a matter addressed in the first lesson of The Way to Happiness Course. Should a medical situation come to our attention, Criminon will encourage the inmates to consult and cooperate with the appropriate institutional medical personnel.
Criminon is strongly opposed to the use of illegal, non-prescription drugs or to the illegal use, abuse or overuse of prescription medications used for psychological purposes. We encourage inmates with such problems to take these courses and cease the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances. We have courses which can assist an inmate to quit such illegal drug use.
7. Do volunteers have to be specially trained?
It depends in which capacity they want to volunteer. In order to be an instructor for the program, one would have to be trained on specific courses dealing with the subject. Any new instructor would do the Criminon courses that they would supervise or instruct the students on. This is to ensure that they have a subjective reality on the materials and what the courses can achieve with an individual. This is then followed by a short apprentice assignment under a trained CRIMINON supervisor and with an actual group of offenders.
8. Is Criminon a religious program?
No. Criminon is a wholly secular organization and utilizes a wholly secular—though extremely practical and effective—non-religious moral code. Criminon respects the cultures, traditions and religious beliefs or non-beliefs of the individual.
9. Who funds Criminon?
Criminon is funded by donations from the public including individuals, businesses, and interested community betterment organizations. We also have government funding in countries outside the United States and for special delivery projects in the United States.
10. Where does Criminon spend its money?
Criminon is a non-profit public benefit corporation and spends the money it receives on supporting it’s existing programs and expanding them to assist the thousands who reach for our help.
11. Is Criminon soft on crime?
Criminon’s view is that if a person commits a crime they should be held accountable and receive a penalty appropriate to the circumstances of the crime and the damage done. The penalty is often imprisonment and we are strong advocates for utilizing the time in prison to restore the criminal to good standing so that upon his release the criminal is a productive, ethical, contributing returning citizen. This ensures public and community safety, increases the morale of the society, and greatly reduces recidivism.
12. Who works for Criminon?
Anyone can work for Criminon. In addition to Criminon staff, there are upwards of 1,000 volunteers around the world who contribute their time and energies to assist Criminon’s mission. Their activities range from supervising prisoner prison correspondence courses to working directly with prisoners inside prisons, with juveniles in juvenile detention facilities, in community crime education and prevention programs, with both parole and probation programs, with community rehabilitation centers, with training for detention facility and correctional staff, and in the administration of the Criminon organization itself. Your help is welcome. Criminon provides the specialized training for the administration of courses to prisoners and other training as needed.