FAQs

1. What is Criminon?

Criminon (meaning ‘no crime’) is an organization dedicated to helping justice-involved individuals achieve life-long success as happy and productive members of their communities. Since its establishment in New Zealand in 1972, Criminon has grown into an international network operating in 38 countries and over 2500 institutions. The network is overseen by Criminon International, a U.S.-based non-profit, tax-exempt public benefit corporation.

See the What is Criminon? page for a full description.

2. What is Criminon New Life DC?

Criminon New Life DC is a secular non-profit service provider incorporated in Washington, DC and is tax-exempt under federal and DC law.

Criminon New Life DC delivers a unique evidence-based program providing individuals with real-world skills they can use to improve their decision-making and reverse negative life habits. Students graduate in a condition to be able to successfully navigate their reentry into their families and communities. They are also better able to take advantage of other reentry services such as finding housing and employment.

Criminon New Life DC has been providing its rehabilitative services for the Washington DC Department of Corrections since 2003. Prior to that, it delivered courses in Washington DC’s Lorton prison for over six years.

3. What is the Purpose of Criminon New Life DC?

Criminon’s rehabilitation services produce transformational cognitive changes for program participants. As a result, our services are accepted as an indispensable part of pre- and post-incarceration programming by governments and community organizations.

The goals of all Criminon services are to help the individual to:

  • Restore their sense of Self-Respect, Dignity, Trustworthiness and Honor
  • Obtain better survival abilities and skills
  • Become happier, more successful, responsible and ethical productive citizens

It is by achieving these goals that we can reach our aim to help stop the increasing rate of incarceration and break the cycle of recidivism.

    4. Is Criminon a Reentry Program?
    Criminon New Life DC does provide services for those reentering their communities from incarceration, as well as for individuals under some form of post-incarceration supervision. Criminon’s reentry services focus on the re-integration of the individual back into society.

    However, Criminon New Life DC specializes in REHABILITATION services. By rehabilitation, Criminon New Life DC means eradicating the factors that led to incarceration while addressing these exact causes of destructive behavior and the loss of personal self-respect. The Criminon program resolves these issues so the person learns not only how to behave ethically and morally, but why he or she should. This understanding makes true reform possible and has given Criminon New Life DC the successes it now enjoys.

    Criminon does not provide such reentry services as housing, healthcare, 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.

    5. Who works for Criminon?
    Anyone can work for Criminon. In addition to Criminon staff, there are thousands of volunteers around the world who contribute their time and energies to assist Criminon’s mission.

    Their activities range from supervising inmate correspondence courses to working directly with individuals 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 and other training as needed. If you are interested in working or volunteering for Criminon New Life DC, please contact us.

    6. Do volunteers have to be specially trained?

    Criminon provides some level of training for all volunteers. The type and amount of training required depends in which capacity they want to volunteer. In order to be an instructor for the program, for example, one would be trained on specific courses dealing with the subject. Any new instructor would do the Criminon courses that they would supervise or instruct 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/instructor and with an actual group of inmates.

    To instruct within a government detention, rehabilitation, or reentry facility as a Criminon volunteer requires some additional steps and training. We fully brief volunteers on these steps and assist them with the whole process.

    7. Is Criminon a religious program?

    No. Criminon is a secular corporation that utilizes a wholly secular curriculum. Criminon respects the cultures, traditions and religious beliefs, or non-beliefs, of all individuals.

    8. Who is L. Ron Hubbard?

    L. Ron Hubbard was an American author and humanitarian. He dedicated his life to providing practical solutions to Mankind’s most pressing problems. His works cover subjects as diverse as drug rehabilitation, criminal rehabilitation, education, marriage and family, and many other aspects of life.

    Hubbard examined the effects of crime and anti-social behavior from the top down and from the bottom up. After witnessing the execution of a prisoner as a young man, he realized that killing a man was not justice, but merely a type of revenge. It was not a solution. Nor did locking a person away for life solve the problem. In his own words, “All one learns in a cage is that he has indeed become an animal.”

    Mr. Hubbard personally worked as a Special Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1940’s. As early as 1952, he began a rehabilitation program for juvenile delinquents. Continuing to search for the one common denominator that marked anyone’s start of a career in crime, Mr. Hubbard found that the loss of self-respect is what brought about any life of lawlessness and criminality.

    The Criminon curriculum consists of secular derivations of L. Ron Hubbard’s research and writing. Hubbard’s workable methodologies provide Criminon the ability to provide true rehabilitation.

    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.

    Criminon New Life DC is a non-profit, federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation. All donations to Criminon New Life DC are tax-deductible for US citizens.

    10. Where does Criminon spend its money?

    Criminon is a non-profit public benefit corporation and spends the money it receives on supporting its existing program and expanding it to assist the thousands who reach for our help.

    11. Is Criminon soft on crime?

    A core principle of Criminon is that rehabilitation is possible. It relies upon no drugs or punishment, but rather appeals to what Mr. Hubbard described as the basic goodness within all men. We believe that justice for transgressions is best served by rehabilitation, not punishment.

    Criminon at the same time believes that the rehabilitative process includes personal accountability and that individuals are inherently responsible for their own condition. One who commits a crime should be held appropriately accountable to both the community and any individuals harmed by their actions.

    The reality is that in our current society accountability very often takes the form of incarceration. In such circumstance, Criminon strongly advocates for utilizing time in prison for rehabilitation so as to restore the individual to a healthy condition so that upon their release the individual is a productive, ethical, contributing returning citizen.

    This approach ensures public and community safety, increases the morale of the society, greatly reduces recidivism, and increases the individual’s ability to be successful and to behave in a pro-social manner, thus avoiding a relapse into criminal behavior, substance abusing behavior, and other antisocial behavior patterns.