From Guards to Guardians
We want to restore the prison system to its original intent of penitence. The health and vitality of Correction officers are the key resource to any true, lasting change to our system. This program for officers, Guards to Guardians, starts with the heart and ends with the vision.

“Captain once told me, ‘Society may often forget about the gatekeeper known only as a corrections [or] detention officer, but what would society do without him or her at the gate?’”

—Jerome R. Hall, former CO and former Marine

Web Series

Join our Guards to Guardians Web Series on Zoom, every Wednesday at 11am and 4pm PT

If you would like to sign up, talk to a CO mentor or more call us at (800) 559-4819 or email us at



We offer not only the tools to officers for the improvement of their mental health, but also help clear the stigma of the guard to the nobler role this profession plays as the guardian.
Often we are too caught up with what’s going on around us to realize what’s going on within us. In addressing what is happening within us, we will better realize what we need to do for ourselves and for those incarcerated under our care and custody.
This program allows officers to get their problems out in the open, guides them through trials and tribulations, lets officers know they are not alone and have someone they can turn to in times of need, and gives them a sense of security and hope.
By Hesham Hauter ​A few months ago, I set out on a project to interview twenty Correctional Officers throughout the country. To take on this assignment, I had to educate...
I got into corrections because I grew up in foster homes and I lived with one foster family that really helped change me. Working Juvenile Hall was my way of...
When I was in my mid-thirties, I had worked different jobs, but I was searching for something that would give me more of a sense of purpose. I had an...

Guards to Guardians


For those who believe in human redemption, there is no more honorable role than that of the Corrections Officer.


In the Prison Monastery, the penitentiary is restored to its roots of penitence. Reflection, contemplation, transformation.


A Guardian represents both the physical and spiritual aspects of upholding the penitentiary; a keeper, protector, and defender for peace and human redemption. A center for human redemption and flourishing requires a guardianship that is one part physical protection and security for those in prison and society, and another part protectors of the sacred space.

webinar series



Guards To Guardians is a free program built for corrections officers as a thank you for their work and the sacrifice they have made to keep society safe. This program is for officers to help restore their own sense of humanity, and to spark the flame for a new vision for the profession. We aim for flourishing, or eudaemonia, in the prison system for custody and inmate population alike, where all needed healing occurs in its wake.

In Their Own Words

“When I started going through these questions, I thought this should be integrated into mandatory training. It’s honest self-evaluation. I’m actually jealous of the officers getting it now, because I would have loved to have had it when I started my career.”

- Steve Maynard

“First and foremost, “From Guards to Guardians” serves to remind us that no matter our role, we are all human. As such, we need to recognize our limitations and strive to overcome them on a personal level.”

- Keith Hellwig

“For me, this program would have been a good resource for me to lean on to help others because in my profession, I have lost good friends. I have seen families be destroyed. This program could have given me a great resource so I can tell somebody ‘Hey, did you read this? Do you know of this program? This can help.’ So this program to me could have maybe saved some lives, before they decided to take their own.”

- Anthony Gangi

“I interviewed with the warden and I explained to him what I thought my job was. Prisons carry a negative light, they are a source of pain and shame. So towns are reluctant to have prisons in them. They are filled with heartbroken families of inmates who move there, and the prison itself is this closed off isolated dark energy. My job is to turn the prison in to a source of light, that it become something the town become proud of. If I am successful, cities should want to have a prison in their town, because they know that prisons bring with them resources and community support and love.”

- State prison administrator

“I think if the Guards to Guardians program was available when I was working the tiers, it would have been absolutely life-changing for me. I’ve been through some traumatic events in my life and I think this would have given me the tools I need to cope with those things.”

- Greg Piper

“I believe the program falls under that category Chicken Soup for the Soul, the program is exactly that it’s a medication. It’s something we can read and put into our mind and body and spirit and use to turn our lives around, turn our work environment into a positive place. If we had more programs that bridge the gap and educate officers on how to come forward and express their thoughts express their opinions and to express what is going on in their lives. It helps them to get it out of their system. That you can get through these trials and tribulations and never allow yourself to think that you’re alone.”

- Gary York

“I think the shame people feel when they look away [from jails and prisons] is that in their guts they know that there is a process of human rehabilitation that is supposed to be happening in that prison and it is not.”

- County Sheriff

“An inmate is in prison as punishment; not to be punished.”

- (several officers have mentioned this)

Program BenEfits

Begin to feel like a fellow amongst humans again

Set your sights on your own flourishing and renewed sense of purpose, and allow your personal healing to grow in its wake

Become a Guardian. Build your capacity for restoring those in your custody

Be a leader in a new way of corrections where officers thrive and prisons become assets for their communities


Build on Your
Human Psyche
communication skills

the unconditional
Freedom Project

The Unconditional Freedom Project is a non-profit organization which seeks to restore dignity to the canceled members of society: the marginalized, the cast out, the homeless and the incarcerated. Our programs provide the reflection, nourishment and tools necessary to restore human dignity in any domain. Once reclaimed, we believe people naturally find the desire to contribute their unique gifts to society. We believe Correctional Officers are an essential pillar in prison reform, and seek to provide the help that’s needed. Learn more about what we do and the programs we have on our website.