By Lee Horton and Dennis Horton
We firmly stand for using the safety agreement in Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) seminars. Allow us to introduce ourselves: Lee Horton and Dennis Horton. We are individuals who spent 28 years in prison for a crime we did not commit.
Despite our unjust circumstances, we became Certified Peer Support Specialists and experienced the transformative power of WRAP firsthand. This qualification reinforces the significance of our perspective on this matter.
Having personally written our own individual WRAPs and witnessing its life-changing effects, we eagerly volunteered to become WRAP Facilitators.
We were part of the pioneering group of prisoners to take on this role. The demand for WRAP seminars quickly grew, with more than 100 individuals on our waiting list and eventually reaching 200 individuals before the COVID-19 pandemic.
To meet the demand, we conducted two seminars a week for two and a half years, accumulating a total of more than 200 WRAP Seminar 1 trainings. WRAP became more than just a program for us; it became a way of life.
The safety agreement played a vital role in the success and popularity of our WRAP seminars. It allowed us to establish a recovery environment of connection and trust within a matter of hours.
The agreement empowered participants to regain control over their lives, sometimes for the first time in years or decades. It shifted the power dynamic away from prison staff, granting individuals the authority to set the standards for interaction. This shift was a game changer.
The safety agreement cultivated a safe space for participants to share and be vulnerable, resulting in profound transformations in their thinking and actions. The impact of WRAP on the institution was astonishing, with decreased violent incidents, inmate-on-staff confrontations, and trips to solitary confinement.
Participants consistently highlighted the safety agreement as a standout aspect of the program, as it allowed them to coauthor their interactions, fostering connection, trust, and personal growth. It empowered individuals and gave them a sense of control over their lives.
Since our release in 2021, we have continued to use WRAP as a way of life and have conducted close to 60 seminars in various formats.
Initially, we stopped using the safety agreement, only to witness a noticeable shift in the energy and effectiveness of our seminars. Participants were less willing to be vulnerable and share, limiting the depth of conversation. However, once we reintroduced the safety agreement, everything returned to normal.
Our experiences have shown us that whether individuals participating in WRAP seminars are physically imprisoned or trapped in self-made prisons, there is a lack of control over their lives.
WRAP is the remedy that restores that control, and the safety agreement is an integral part of it. Discontinuing the safety agreement would be a disservice to the participants and the effectiveness of WRAP seminars.
We have come to recognize the significant impact of the safety agreement on the success of WRAP seminars. It empowers individuals and enables true transformation.
We implore anyone struggling with their mental health, whether physically or mentally imprisoned, to consider WRAP. It provides individuals with the control they need to transform their lives.
Our story is not unique, and countless others have experienced the transformative power of WRAP. Let us continue to spread the word and empower others to take control of their lives and undergo their own personal transformations.
- Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Updated Edition
- WRAP Workbook
- Wellness Recovery Action Plan for Reentry: Moving Forward from Incarceration
- The WRAP Story
- WRAP: Five Key Concepts to Guide Your Path to Wellness (free download)
Certified WRAP Facilitator(s)