Criminon Florida has almost 2,000 students enrolled on the program and this number is continually increasing.
Due to the success of the program, students are letting other inmates know about its effectiveness and in one week alone Criminon could have up to 100 new inmates requesting the program.
Criminon Florida, founded in 1992, started delivering in prisons only in Florida. Since then the chapter has expanded and is now delivering to 12 States in the Southeastern US.
Criminon has students working on their rehabilitation in over 200 correctional institutions, including prisons, jails and juvenile detention centers.
Criminon is 130 volunteers strong, with more joining its ranks on a weekly basis.
"This course has brought me confidence and self-worth..."
"The course has even given me back my hope and faith."
"I have discovered a great deal about myself and how to live. "
"For me, two words define clearly the overall message of 'The Way to Happiness' extension course: Truth and Love."
"I had no parents to teach me morals and values as a teen so I learned the hard way, but now thanks to this course I know a better way."
"I can't go in the past and re-do what is done. However, I can take what I have learned from this course into the future."
"It brought forth in me a desire to change, and easy steps to take to achieve change…"
"Slowly but surely I’m learning to 'trust' and socialize with others again as well as respect and love all of humanity."
“I was a professional criminal all my life: a drug dealer, an armed robber, rip-off artist, con artist, thief and liar.
And I was completely and totally sick to death of myself.
My life was a lie, the world I lived in and created was false. The responsible and honest people of this world knew that and that was why I was in prison for the rest of my life.
They wanted me out of society to protect society.
And they weren’t wrong.
In one moment the realization and magnitude of the harm and injury I had inflicted on countless innocent people – my children, their mothers, my sisters and brother, my parents, all my victims and myself came crashing into the very core of my being.
Like I said, it made me physically ill, for days.
Those thoughts of injury to so many people were the beginning of my desire to make right all the wrong I had done.
From that point on I promised myself I would do everything I could to figure out what and how I could change.
But it was also at that moment I realized I didn’t know how to change.
We need to stop finding fault in society or the government or the police. Find the fault in yourself and fix it. Be what you want others to be.
Never look for respect from others but always be willing to give it.
Like the title of the first course, The Way to Happiness, the entire Criminon program is an excellent guide to change, to think about the effects of the poor choices we’ve made and to gain new ideas and new concepts, and then start getting experience using those new ideas.
The men and women who start and stick with this program have come to that point in their lives where they realize something in them must change. They realize several other things too. But the bottom line is that nothing has worked so far, so it must be us.
The Criminon program has given me the opportunity to effectively help others become what they’ve always wanted to be – a responsible, trustworthy, dependable part of their family, home, and community.
I now have an unquenchable desire to help all prisoners be a success and to stay out of prison once they get out.”
Zephyrhills Prison, Florida, USA
“This course made me take a good look at myself in so many ways. I have become a stronger and more confident person. I now take a whole new outlook on life and how I conduct myself. And also how I treat others around me. Thank you for helping me build up my self-esteem.”
“I learned that by applying virtues to my life, I can become a better person and be very happy. I also learned that by treating people how I want to be treated changes my whole disposition. By treating people with kindness and respect, they won’t think I’m some kind of dangerous animal who is waiting on its prey. Therefore, by applying these virtues into my life everyday, I make lots of friends and have been told that I’m someone’s role model. Thanks.”
"I had been incarcerated nearly three months when I was first introduced to Criminon. At that time I was depressed and angry, hopeless. All there was to lose, I had lost - or so I thought.
As I completed The Way To Happiness Course, I began to realize what was important to me. I have now learned a healthier, more productive way of viewing life and in doing so, my priorities have shifted.
I no longer sleep all day, survive on junk food and caffeine, or react with violence and suspicion. As I began applying the things I've learned from these courses, my entire world changed. I had been very unhappy in my own skin, so I was treated as such.
Now, although I still occupy the same 8 x 12 cell twenty-two hours a day with little sunlight or human contact. I treat each day as an opportunity to grow instead of a trial to be endured. I keep a schedule - wake-up and make my bed, clean my cell, study. I work-out and have completely changed my eating habits. I've stopped cursing and feeling bad for myself. Essentially, I have made the choice to begin living in the solution. This course encouraged me to realize I have made some mistakes - BUT I AM NOT A MISTAKE.
I have worth and ability and I can become anything I put my mind to.
I believe my life has changed and that this course has brought me confidence and self-worth."
Orange County Female Jail
“My success story starts when I took and completed the Criminon course 'The Way to Happiness'.
I’ve been incarcerated in prison since I was 18 years old and now I’m 37 years old. My life was filled with hate, violence, loneliness, as well as no thought to anyone around me.
Well, 'The Way to Happiness Course' opened my heart, mind and soul to the right way of living and treating others in the world. My life changed dramatically since completing the course. I listen to people and communicate with others in a mature manner.
I now smile and laugh and take life more easier. 'The Golden Rule' is a common knowledge to all. But treating people as you would like to be treated is a way of life, which makes all live in peace and harmony- regardless if you are incarcerated, or free.
To respect everyone in life and around you brings respect, love and friendships in your life which can be cherished for life, and happiness.
By this course, my family and I are closer and communicate better. My sister and I are becoming friends as well as brother and sister again.
My daily life in prison dealing with guards and inmates are more direct and respectful to their feelings and a lot more polite. Staff even see the change in my daily attitudes and communication skills.
The course has even gave me back my hope and faith in getting out and going home again. I truly feel by this course helping me grow as a man and spiritually.
I can be a success story in society as I was in this course. I hold myself in a higher standard daily due to this course.
It’s so easy to be polite and helpful to others, and the rewards are so sincere and spiritually rewarding. It’s priceless in the big picture of life.
I hope my success story can help someone as Criminon has helped me.”
“Until recently, I have lived my life and based my decisions on one principle, If it feels good and it seems right, then do it. This principle is not a good way for one to be successful or ensure one's survival.
Eight months ago I made a decision to learn new ways to live my life: I opened my mind to all wisdom, knowledge and understanding that would help me to discover these new ways I was searching for. I was introduced to the Criminon Correspondence Course. At first I thought the course was a bit silly, the material was basic stuff. But, here I was in prison, so I thought maybe I could use a refresher course on the basics.
I decided to apply myself and learn everything I could from this course. As I tore apart each question, I found myself digging deep into my mind. I experienced discoveries and realizations that shocked me. I was surprised to find that I could get such a deep insight and that my thoughts could be provoked to such degree by these seemingly simple principles.
As I continued with the course, I began to put the principles that I was learning into action. I began to see that I was changing. I feel better about myself. I came to believe that I could be successful and that I had found tools that would help me ensure my survival, my happy survival. I have discovered a great deal about myself and how to live. I have cried to myself and laughed to myself while doing this course. With the encouragement and genuine care and concern of my supervisor, Kathie, I have found 'The Way to Happiness' correspondence course to be the primary source of my new found self-respect, dignity and hope."
I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to enroll in and be a participant in the Criminon Rehabilitation Program. 'The Way to Happiness' extension course has been for me an eye-opening, life-changing experience, and one which has blessed my personal life and well-being tremendously. Never in all the years of my incarceration have I been moved to again hope and belief in the future, nor inspired to change, truly, truly change as I have now been so moved and inspired to do, in order to become a better, brighter and far more benevolent person. The many precepts taught and promoted within this course are not only vital to my own peace of mind and peaceful interaction with prison life, but are also invaluable to me making it successfully out in the streets. And to think that I’ve only just begun to engage upon this newfound path and journey. So I am excited about all that the future holds in store for me. For me, two words define clearly the overall message of 'The Way to Happiness' extension course: Truth and Love. Truth to oneself and honest interaction with our fellow man, Love of life and love for the world we live in and love towards our fellow man, but even more importantly that we love ourselves. Again, Thank You, Criminon.
"The success I received from 'The Way to Happiness' has allowed me to be in control of my emotions and have a better understanding of my inter-turmoils and how if not kept in order or dealt with properly they can affect me and all those I come into contact with. I’ve learned to weigh and judge decisions before taking action and most of all I learned who I am which is something I wish I could have had an understanding of prior to coming into the prison system. I had no parents to teach me morals and values as a teen so I learned the hard way, but now thanks to this course I know a better way. Thank you."
“I have learned more about drugs than I’ve ever known because of this course. This course has now helped me to make changes in my life where drugs are concerned. I used to drink and smoke marijuana and have never known the serious damage I was doing to myself until I took this course. Thank you Criminon! I will never do those things anymore.”
“I learned how important word usage is and how it influences my perception of things I study and the world around me. I now look up every word I don’t understand so I may understand the word and don’t have a misconception of what it means. The Learning Improvement Course helped me appreciate the value of thorough study and because of that my day-to-day life has improved dramatically. Thank you.”
A Poem by a Criminon Graduate
THE WAY TO HAPPINESS
I woke up lost and distraught,
Caught in a mess I made my own,
Looked around and closed my eyes,
Not a place that I’d call home.
Happiness at a distance,
Can’t seem to even smile.
Darkness settles on me,
At least I’m not in denial.
If I had a road map,
I could find a little peace,
Maybe see the sun,
Or let my troubles ease.
And out of the nightmare,
Came a little light,
A way to happiness,
Almost in my sight.
Looking inside myself,
I do want to survive.
I scream “I’m choosing life.”
Like a seed that’s been watered,
I see my rose,
reat myself like a queen,
My self-esteem grows.
Remembering my values,
I think the 'Golden Rule',
Yes, do unto others,
As you would have them do to you.
Now my frown has disappeared,
Replaced by a glow,
I want you to understand
This is a job I didn’t know.
Love and respect,
I give to all.
These concrete walls.
A lesson I won’t forget,
Seek and you shall find,
There’s a joy in loving others,
Understanding and being kind.
I open up my eyes,
I know just where to start,
THE WAY TO HAPPINESS,
Begins right in your heart.
“By using 'The Way to Happiness' I have been able to understand what and how drugs and other things have not only affected me but my family and friends. Someday I plan to use it to help other people understand how much their family loves them.”
“I really enjoyed the course. I have learned the reason why I took medication. I started taking it because of the pain. Then I started taking more because I liked the way it made me feel. I used to deny that I was addicted. Now I can openly admit that I am an addict. I also know that I will have to stay away from the people that helped me get the drugs. This lesson also taught me how and what to use to help a person that is withdrawing [from drugs]. I will keep this packet and take it home with me. It was very helpful and I thank you for the help and the time.”
“This course helped me to realize what has been hindering my learning and remembrance of things. The main thing being to know the full and exact meaning of every single word I read. I now keep a dictionary next to me at all times. This course has also given me the self-discipline and devotion to finish something I start. I enjoyed this course very much.”
“After completing this course I found it easier to understand my Bible studies and other courses I am taking. During this course my supervisor made sure I understood what I was studying and if I had a problem or needed help, he was quick to come to my aid. I look forward to the next Criminon course.”
"While taking the Understanding and Overcoming Addiction Course I have learned that people take drugs to ease pain. I remember at first thinking that this was not true, because I remember the first time I did heroin which is my drug of choice. I did it the first time out of curiosity, then I believed that I liked it deeply so that was why I chose to continue my use which led me to become strung out. Once I was strung out, it was like the drug was not getting me high anymore, and I was just using to not get sick.
After getting clean the first time I never really realized exactly why I kept going back to using until actually reading the reason behind the drug problem which was to ease pain. When I think about what my pain could have been then I see the many things. I got high for courage, I got high to cope with life, I got high for power, I got high for confidence, I got high for assurance, I got high for relaxation, I got high for strength, I got high for friendship, I got high for sociability, I got high for happiness.
When I think about all the reasons I got high it was to take away those pains. However, it never took away those pains. It only made things worse, I became unhappy, miserable, I made enemies, I became lonely, I almost died.
I got high for power and became powerless. I also learned a little bit about the effects that drugs had on the mind and body. One other section that I learned a great deal about was helping someone get off drugs.
This is something that I had wished I knew long ago, because one of the worst things about heroin is withdrawal and this section teaches you about nutritional data such as the *drug-bomb which contains many different vitamins in which you lack while using drugs and these vitamins also help push the drugs out quicker... I also learned about objective exercises.
Conclusion: If I learned all of these tools and techniques years ago I might not be in the situation I am in right now. Drugs are my only reason for being here right now and in the past. I can't go in the past and re-do what is done. However, I can take what I have learned from this course into the future."
Orange County Jail
* Drug bomb – a vitamin formula found effective in combating the effects of withdrawal.
“I spent 19 years of my life, as a member of a California Prison Gang. Living a life void of morals and virtues, filled with vice and violence. On the streets or behind the walls of prison….1995 this came to a climax when I was sentenced to four life sentences and 96 years, as a direct result of living a life of vice and violence as a prison gang member. Five years into this sentence I parted ways with the prison gang, but the vices and violence continued, until, in 2004, I enrolled in the Criminon Program.
At first, I did so to kill time, because I was in the hole, facing criminal charges again. But as I began to do these lessons to kill the time with, a funny thing happened - a desire to change began to blossom in me, and I began to apply the things I was learning to my life. Change began, I had been under the belief it was too late for me, I had fallen too deep into the life of vice and violence. But here I was changing…relearning basic living skills, replacing the vices with virtues. Then half way through this course the most beautiful thing happened, my heart opened up to Jesus, and I became a Christian and returned to the Catholic Church, which I had abandoned as a teenager.
Criminon, is not a so-called 'God Program,' but by applying the basic living skills it teaches, and the virtues you learn in 'The Way to Happiness' course, it brought forth in me a desire to change, and easy steps to take to achieve change…and this change led me back to Jesus and opened my eyes to the fact that even though I’ll never be free from prison, the purpose I exist for still exists…to know God, to love God, and to serve God.”
M. F .
Corcoran State Prison
"By me being a victim and a product of a high crime risk, and an extremely violent environment on the west-side of south-central Los Angeles: I was inflicted with a strong sense of distrust, rage and other criminal characteristics beyond my control. Resulting from the poverty, lock of education, social disorders, and gang-related activities that I was strongly subjected to. Drugs —PCP, marijuana, and alcohol — along with past experiences of witnessed homicides and attempts being made on my life, played a major part in my lack of trust (Paranoia), my destructive tendencies and resentment that I would bury behind rigid controls.
However, by me taking 'The Way to Happiness' extension course through Criminon, this course has actually suppressed the flames that were ignited inside of me, and it has shown me a more productive constructive side of me, as well as how this world should be. It has given me a brief description of how to obtain success in a positive manner along with its survival tools of virtues and moral excellence. Slowly but surely I’m learning to “trust” and socialize with others again as well as respect and love all of humanity. If L. Ron Hubbard’s method of Criminon can rehabilitate me and open my eyes to reality, Criminon can help and reinstate anyone in special impact areas and other parts of the globe also. Criminon is truly The Way to Happiness!"