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What We Do

Mission: Provide opportunities to heal, learn, and thrive for those touched by the justice system

At Healing Broken Circles, we build and operate alternatives to punitive systems of incarceration and deficiency-based social services. We address societal and individual harms through healing, opportunity, community and accountability, with a model that is:

  • Social, healing-centered, strength-based, collaborative and upends the usual distinctions between “helper” and “helped”

  • Responsive to root causes such as trauma, institutionalization, toxic stress, economic survival, and chronic absence of trust, acceptance and opportunity

  • Based in positive attitudes about people's dignity, capacities, rights, uniqueness and commonalities developed and implemented by and with those impacted by incarceration and adversity

At HBC, we challenge structural inequities to create new and unprecedented educational, artistic, and transformative opportunities, so that people are better able to live, wherever that may be, as healthy, connected, and contributing members of their communities.

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Community Center at Marion Correctional

Seeding and constantly refining an alternative to prison—inside a prison—Healing Broken Circles operates an only-of-its-kind Community Center inside Marion Correctional, creating a space of opportunity, agency, learning, and support for an incarcerated population of 2,500. With 30+ programs, projects, and events, our strength-based, healing-centered, and communal peer-mentoring model addresses the whole person through:

  • Advanced education

  • Workplace-readiness

  • Arts & creativity

  • Community & personal growth

  • Wellness of mind, body & spirit

  • Preparation for community integration


Visit on a typical day and you will see incarcerated men practicing yoga in one room; in another, exploring a character’s motivation in theater class; while in other rooms, students are deepening understanding of financial mindsets, healthy communication skills, and topics such as gender studies, literature, and psychology. All the while, our community of inside leaders are busy problem-solving, brainstorming new offerings, facilitating, and mentoring new participants.

HBC Downtown

In support of community integration we provide programming, peer support and links to resources—whether to direct services, employers or interests, from cooking to theater to activism.

Because we understand reentry as community integration, we create spaces of support, community, and re-creation for everyone, while always responsive to circumstances and needs of those returning from prison.

Educating the Public

HBC offers public education on issues related to prisons, people in prison, the U.S. justice system, trauma, and transformative justice. We offer this both inside prison at our open-to-the-public events at Marion Correctional, as well as outside prison in workshops, programming, presentations, and speaking engagements.

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