From a Crip to G.R.I.P.
At age 13, William Tutt went to visit his family in Los Angeles for the summer. His life was changed forever after that.
Tutt said. "I fell in love with the gangster lifestyle. My cousin was a Crip and I followed in his path." When Tutt returned to San Antonio, he returned as a Crip gang member.
But he says there weren't any other Crips in San Antonio at the time. He said, "You have to remember it was 1983. I was one of the first Crips here in San Antonio, if not the first."
Tutt was involved in several aggravated robberies. He also sold drugs. He says he was addicted to the adrenaline of committing crimes. "I could have $2,000 to $3,000 in my pocket, see a victim, and want to rob that victim."
He spent 10 years in jail for aggravated robbery. After serving eight years on probation, he missed an at-home visit from his parole officer and was arrested for parole violation. Tutt has spent the last two years back in jail for that. This past January, he was released.
Since his release, he has started a program called G.R.I.P. which stands for Gang Rehabilitation in Progress. His goal is to meet with various gang leaders and put them through his program. He says he has the best chance of anyone when it comes to reaching these current gang members to turn their lives around. He says, "It's me that's been there. That's what makes the difference I believe."
Tutt was also recently named to the board of the East Side Crime Coalition. He says he's trying to do everything in his power to help gang members reform.
The G.R.I.P. Plan
Tutt forwarded several details of his G.R.I.P. program. We've copied and pasted those here:
BUSINESS PLAN FOR THE
Gang Rehabilitation in Progress
General Company Description
The G.R.I.P. Program is a rehabilitation program that is much needed in the city of San Antonio. This program has been created to serve our ex-offenders, who are confirmed gang members, for re-entry into society. The program has been designed to allow gang members on the street the opportunity to become ex-gang members and to further their education. The program will focus on the using behavioral modification therapy to adjust the cognition of gang members.
This city has had a major gang problem since 1989 and the only answer has been to increase laws and city ordinances that have only increased the gang population by incarcerating these troubled youth and adults. This is not the solution to this growing and unchanging problem. The solution is to give gang members the opportunity to help themselves by offering them behavior modification therapy and providing the opportunity for secondary education and career orientated vocational trades.
Being an ex-gang member and an ex-offender has afforded me the insight on how gang members think, live, and their purpose for the decisions they make. The lack of opportunity for advancement in life being one of the most profound reasons why individuals join gangs.
The G.R.I.P. Program proposes to create an environment where these ex-offenders and ex-gang members can deal first and foremost with their decision making process via cognitive intervention. Cognitive intervention will be the highlight of the program. Ex-offenders and gang members suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and prison psychosis. There are programs for alcoholics, sex offenders, and substance abusers, but there are no programs available that are directed towards the disorders that gang members suffer from.
This program is seeking financial aid in order to serve the community by giving these individuals the opportunity to better themselves and to change their cognitive processes.
This program is aimed at allowing its clients to become law abiding citizens and preparing themselves for the working environment. It is proven that gang members wizen with age and in the latter part of their lives realize the importance of an education but may have missed out on the opportunity. It has been proven that the cause for gang members to remain focused on gang activities and to be fascinated by the gang life is the lacking desire for educational advancement. This why the G.R.I.P. program will afford gang members the chance to help themselves and grasp the understanding that academic achievement is the absolute pathway to having a successful life.
The program will allow its clients to see that a career can make you a successful on a personal and environmental level.
The only solution that our country has come up with to resolve our gang problem is enhancing punishment, toughening laws and constantly harassing the lower income communities. This type of resolution has only caused an up rise of aggravation, and increase in recruiting in prison and on the streets, and has yet tried to reach the core of the problem which is why do we join gangs and how or what opportunities are available and provided to give gang members a look at a brighter future… The G.R.I.P. program.
The objective of the G.R.I.P. program is to afford gang members the opportunity to broaden their education. This program will provide gang members the privilege of calling themselves “ex” gang members because of a new beginning that the G.R.I.P. program will offer them.
The G.R.I.P. program is an organization that offers personal growth through cognitive intervention and group therapy. People make the wrong decisions because of the response to stimuli in their environment. Through cognitive intervention the clients of this program will be thought how to develop and recognize thinking errors. These thinking errors are the allow individuals to make bad decisions and gives them the confirmation needed to justify their wrong decisions.
It has been clinically proven that all criminals and gang members have thinking errors. These thinking errors cause gang members and ex offenders to have dysfunctional relationships with employees, spouses, and family members. These thinking errors have to be brought to an individual’s conscious mind in order for them to identify the thinking error and change their response. The law of nature dictates that we know what is best for ourselves therefore all decisions we make are true and correct. Individuals become gang members out of necessity. These necessities can only be justified by each individual gang member.
Thinking errors are followed by negative behaviors. These negative behaviors are the catalyst to criminal activities. Negative behaviors can only be altered by the individual that recognizes the thinking error. In other words, thinking errors cause a negative behavior. A negative behavior is immediately followed by a negative action without cognition. Where there is the opportunity for thought, and not just reaction, then one’s logic has the opportunity to take effect and thus change the outcome of the thinking error leading to a positive behavior and a positive action. This is a decision making process that has to be taught to individuals who share and support one another’s thinking errors, hence, gang members.
Clients that enter this program obviously possess the desire to better themselves and redirect the negative energy that gang members possess and emit throughout our city. This program will offer each individual client the opportunity to make better decisions, to want to change, and to understand that every decision you make has a negative consequence or a reward.
1. Main Objective
2. Goals for positive change for clients
3. Program Goals
4. Client Requirements
5. Support Letters
6. Budget Plan
7. Client Contract
8. Application for Education
9. Instructors Guideline
The main objective of the G.R.I.P. program is to provide gang members with the desire of wanting to change from a negative lifestyle to a positive one. The program will teach gang members the power of decision making and how it affects not only their lives but those who care for them and their family members as well.
The program will provide re-entry opportunities for ex offenders, who are gang members, and will allow them to re-enter into society and to become a law abiding citizen. The program will enforce the ideology that being a square person will enable you to remain free regardless of what your peers who are involved in negative activities may think of your new lifestyle.
Clients will participate in psychological therapy groups that will help them deal with prison psychosis. Prison psychosis is a term that identifies the adaptation of negative behaviors developed from incarceration. Psychology has proven that normal people that become incarcerated develop negative behaviors that normally would not arise prior to the incarcerated period. These negative behaviors are not accepted as the norm in society and are displayed only during periods of incarceration. These behaviors, although, can be carried over into an ex-offender’s freedom period as well. These negative behaviors become apart of the offender’s psyche as being normal behaviors because of mass approval while incarcerated, which is positive reinforcement. This program has the intent to disable prison psychosis.
The program will provide housing for a ninety (90) day period for ex-offenders as apart of their conditions for release. These clients will participate in all program activities, which will include community restoration projects, group processing, personal therapy,
vocational schooling, cognitive intervention treatment, and all other stipulations deemed necessary by the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole.
Each client will sign a contract stating their non participation in all gang activities hence forth. Clients will also be responsible for choosing a career oriented vocational course offered by the program.
Goals for Positive Change for Clients
1. To change thinking, speaking and action patterns adopted over the period of a lifetime, through the process of recording and reporting your thoughts.
2. To learn to distinguish between thoughts and feelings.
3. Come to understand how society and others view me.
4. To understand that you have three options: to spend the rest of your life going in and out of prison, commit suicide, or change.
5. To understand that the role of staff is to be direct, firm and matter of fact.
6. To understand that the role of staff and other clients is to assist you in finding more effective options in terms of lifestyle, attitudes, and coping behaviors.
7. To understand where distortions exist in your thinking patterns and perceptions of the world, and to work towards changing those that need changing.
8. To understand what your part is in your community.
9. To understand that other clients serve as a mirror, this will help the client get a clearer view of himself and identify with his negative behaviors.
10. To understand that learning experiences are not punishments, but consequences through which one learns his lessons.
11. To understand the meaning of respect for self and others in the free society.
12. To understand that the process of changing is a life time process.
The G.R.I.P. program main goal is to change the cognitive processes of ex-offender gang members and gang members off the streets. If you give someone a second chance or allow them to achieve academic success, these efforts will be fruitless unless individuals thought processes have changed. The program is set out to teach gang members that they have thinking errors. Once these thinking errors can be identified then cognitive intervention can be applied.
Individuals that suffer from psychological disorders are unaware until treatment is provided for them. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a psychological term that is not applied to gang members. On the contrary, gang members engage in highly stressful situations that cause depression and dysfunctional relationships. Thus creating thinking errors within an individual’s thought process, but left untreated will create an acceptance as a norm in their environment.
The G.R.I.P. program goal is to teach gang members how to recognize these thinking errors in order to allow a moment of thought which will allow logic to prevail, and not give attention to reaction. Some individuals have a natural instinct to react to certain situations without thought of the consequences. Then there are the few who give thought prior to making and irrational decision. The goal here is to teach our clients the ability to recognize these critical situations, identify the thinking error, dismiss the permission statements, and make a logical, rational decision that results in a positive behavior.
Another goal of the program is to give gang members the option to make a voluntarily decision not to participate in gang activities in any form or fashion. The clients must consciously make a decision to change their old patterns and lifestyles. This will create the path for change. This change is reinforced with the “mirror image” concept. This concept allows a client to see himself/herself in others. The goal is to have a client see other negative individuals and recognize his/her negative behavior in, or through others.
When individuals recognize the monster in others, via the mirror, they realize that the monster is himself. This concept opens the door for acceptance. Acceptance is then followed by responsibility.
The goal of our clients is to become responsible individuals for all of their actions, thoughts, and verbal outbursts. Through group processing our clients can visualize their impact on others by the decisions they make. Our clients have to realize that others suffer along with them, but sometimes the others suffer far more, and changes are made in their lives to compensate for the clients’ absence. Our goal is to allow our clients to acknowledge this as a fact.
1. Clients must sign a contract denouncing their gang membership.
2. Clients must fill out application for education request.
3. Clients must change dress code that corresponds to new lifestyle.
4. Clients must participate in program community activities.
5. Clients must attend school/vocational classes set by educational institution.
6. Clients must recognize their thinking errors and work towards readjusting their thinking patterns.
7. Clients must maintain a positive attitude throughout their rehabilitation process.
8. Clients must write an autobiography about life experiences and explain why a change in necessary.
9. Clients must allow family to participate in group processing in order to develop empathy.