Welcome to Bridges to Freedom!

Welcome to BridgesToFreedom! – your lifer inmate’s bridge to freedom! This blog has been set up to provide links and free resources to support inmates’ efforts at parole.

The files are available free for download.  We hope they are helpful!  (The links will take you to Google Docs.)  They will be updated as soon as possible when laws and circumstances change.  The Bridges to Freedom chapters are not perfect, nor are they foolproof; we can’t guarantee that anyone who uses them will be granted parole.   The files will be updated regularly.  The author, James DeBacco, is himself working from the inside, at Calipatria State Prison.

Mail your feedback and comments to James at jamesdebacco@gmail.com and Kim will print and forward him your messages, via snail-mail. You can also use the “Comments” feature bel0w.

When James prepared his own original parole plan, many of the inmates on his yard started asking him for help with writing theirs!  In the end, he was so swamped with individual requests for help that he ended up designing a series of 8 workshops, that became a 16 week program, supported by the warden, psychologists and counselors on D-Yard at Calipatria State Prison.

In late 2010, he repackaged his notes materials and handouts and came up with a 120 page textbook to accompany his workshops. The men he works with inside all get a photocopy of the book.  Now you can access his book, chapter by chapter!

Good luck with your parole plan writing.  You may have many rivers to cross, but Bridges to Freedom can show you the way over those troubled waters.  We hope these materials will help you prepare an honest, insightful account of your past, present and  future – which may be closer than you think!

Kim & James DeBacco.

Kim & James

Kim & James

10 responses to “Welcome to Bridges to Freedom!


    This is awesome Kim…give James my congrats and thank him for me he did a great job!

  2. I haven’t read the chapters, but I wanted to say the blog looks great!!!

    Thank you for sharing!


  3. Renee Sherrer

    Hi There!
    Wow, even with only a cursory look at the book, I’m impressed with the depth and organization of the material. My husband is involved with the “Lifer” group at Mule Creek. I hope you would approve my sending a copy to that group. It’s very possibly that other wives may send the book to them as well but I don’t want to wait and see if that’s what happens. I’d rather take the task on, copy it off and send it to them.
    My husband and I have contemplated the “why” of his incarceration (especially as he is still holding forth with his innocence plea). The only conclusion we can come to is that he was sent there to help others who need the kind of help he can supply. He’s a physician and so he’s been able to help some inmates with untreated medical issues and their legal and medical issues against CDCR. Of course, we’d prefer he were free to practice out in the general public but maybe this is where can make a difference right now.
    Thanks so much for working so diligently on this handbook. I’m sure it will help many people.
    Take excellent care.
    Renee Sherrer-Daly

  4. What a wonderful tool for so many!!! Congratulations to you both! I will share as far and wide as possible. Really needs to get out throughout the State.

  5. Fantastic Kim!!!! You both did an excellent job!!! I will assist on getting this passed around!!!

  6. Thanks Jazzy!! We hope it’s useful. Yes – pass it on. The man has just finished Chapter 10 of the next book and workshop called “Positive Interventions – Rehabilitation through Regeneration”. The 25 men in the original Bridges workshops wanted to keep going, because they had developed some kind of trust and understanding. They had started to open up a little and wanted to keep working together on the emotional/psychological prep work for reentry. I am in awe. Take care, Kim

    • Kim, this is awesome work! My husband is heavily involved in c.g.a but just recently discovered bridges to freedom and is so excited about it. With the realignment of inmates due to the valley fever move, he will be transferred to another facility soon. He is not happy about losing the group but hoping to carry on by starting something new. How difficult is it to start a group and gain a sponser?
      Thanks to you both. His work is being spread all over!

      • Thanks Kathleen!

        Apols if you receive this message twice. I accidentally moved my machine and might have hit the send button too soon before….

        James will be thrilled to hear your message to know B2F is helpful somewhere else in the system.

        What prison is he at? I don’t understand c.g.s (or whatever it was you typed in your message that I can’t see now…)

        Honesty, I really don’t know how long it will take to set up a new B2F group in another prison. I’m guessing it varies depending on the prison, the yard and the culture on the yard. So your husband will need to settle in and get to know the counselors and coordinators at the prison before he can launch a full scale group again. In the meantime he probably should keep working on his own case for himself, whhc can only help him become more familiar with the materials and the challenges, and the writing he will be asking others to do.

        Warm wishes from us, stay strong,
        Kim & James

      • Much Thanks Kim & James!
        He is at RJ Donovan and the class/workshop he is currently involved in is C.G.A. criminals and gang member anonymous. They do a lot of pbh work including mock hearings. B2F is an added bonus providing more insight to the whole bph process. All good! I am printing out the 2013 update and he will spread it around the class. Thank you again!

  7. Hi Kim and James! Thank you so much for the useful information. I cant believe how in depth this book is. I can’t wait to send it to my brother who has a hearing next year. 🙂 You guys rock!
    How can we order the Positive Interventions Self Help Program ?

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