The psychologist, Dr. Ron Cavanaugh, told Troy that the only way the inmates could get a room in the prison designated for a group was to conduct a formal course of study that was pre-approved by the AL DOC.
Over the next four years, with support and encouragement from the Lionheart Foundation as well as Donaldson psychologist, Dr. Cavanaugh, Troy's study group grew into a large pool of several hundred inmates who participated in the Houses of Healing program and were meditating on a regular basis.
Since its introduction, The Lionheart Foundation
has donated more than 1500 copies of Houses of Healing to state prisons in AL. (Hundreds more have been donated to county and federal prisons within the state.) Because of the close working relationship that Lionheart
developed with Dr. Cavanaugh
and because the Houses of Healing Program was so integrated into Donaldson, Lionheart has donated 525+ copies of Houses of Healing to this one facility.
Prior to the Vipassana retreat, Lionheart
had donated 400+ copies to Donaldson.
agreed to conduct a similar battery of tests with inmates at Donaldson.
In June 2000, Jenny and Robin went to Donaldson to meet with Dr. Cavanaugh
and observe the inmate facilitation of Houses of Healing courses.
The training was underwritten by The Lionheart Foundation and sponsored by the AL DOC under the direction of Dr. Cavanaugh who had, by then, been promoted to the position of Director of Treatment for the entire state prison system.
Sixty+ (60) corrections professionals representing seven (7) AL state prisons and six (6) AL work release facilities attended the training that was held in Montgomery.
By the time the Vipassana retreat was introduced to Dr. Cavanaugh
and the Commissioner of the AL DOC
, hundreds of men within Donaldson had participated in the Houses of Healing program.