What We Do

Laura Whitworth Prison Project

Self-Leadership Pilot Program at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility began with 2 courses based on the Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals Course by The Coaches Training Institute. These courses took place in March and August of 2008. Another course, launching our brand new curriculum, is scheduled for mid December of this year.

Self-Leadership Curriculum was created by an amazing group of coaches and leaders who held the prison population in mind when developing the concepts and content of 4 courses. Each course will have a Core Component that will be the same in all 4 courses. This Core Component will include coaching tools and building group trust. Each Course has its own manual which provides supplemental material related to the content of each course. It also includes journaling prompts, space for collage, and other tools that are used in the course and can be referred to and revisited by participants. Each course can be taken as a stand alone course or in any order with the other courses.

In order to both honor our roots as Co-Active Coaches AND to meet the communication needs and interests of some of our participants, we will also continue offering a Basics of Life Coaching course. This course will be separate from the Self-Leadership curriculum and can be taken at any time or by itself.

What is the purpose of the Laura Whitworth Prison Project’s ?

 The Laura Whitworth Prison Project is about Self-Leadership and Coaching. We provide a personal development program, with a focus on self-leadership beliefs, tools, and skills. Our purpose is to offer an alternative way to spend time in prison…a way that develops the emotional intelligences of the participants and offers them an opportunity to re-create the way they lead their lives.

Quotes from past participants of our programs:

“Although I am not proud of the actions that got me to this place in my life, I am very proud and protective of the group of men that have become committed to bettering themselves and moving forward in their lives through your coaching training. So, please don’t give up on us.” – Russ, Federal Correctional Facility, Englewood, CO

“This course is very helpful to give us tools to take into the facility with us and help not only ourselves but our fellow offenders as well as relationships outside of the facility”. Susan, Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, Denver, CO

“I felt truly at ease and respected by the course leaders. The involvement was priceless. I felt secure in all aspects of this course and the leaders’ presentation, they are so very capable”. Martha, Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, Denver, CO

“You bring so much fulfillment to our lives and open our minds to see what we are capable of, things that have been dormant for most of our lives.” — Paul

“Thanks so much for not only that light among the darkness that seems to encompass our world, but for the guiding light. How could I be so lucky to experience these days, this knowledge, these relationships, this closeness, these coaching skills? You have made a difference in my life — one that will last forever and ever, Amen.” — Gary

“The course also makes you alot wiser, plus opens the door more, many more. For example if you were a shy person, after taking the course you feel more comfortable talking with someone else.” — Benjamin

“They taught me a lot about myself as well as the people around me. It showed me its ok to be different. That if we look past our fears we will have a more meaningful life. The best part of all is you’re not forcing your will, but helping people to be who they really are. If I could describe the impact of it, I would use a flower…how the contact with a flower brings you hope and joy. The effects they left on me…are the same as one flower can have on so many lives.” — Dennis

 “I feel these coaching skills go way beyond any of the coaching sessions. These skills can/should be applied in all relationships. First off, these seminars taught me a lot about myself. It has forced me to look at my actions, my wants, my needs, my values, as well as the same in others. The basic principles I have learned have made for a more effective and positive relationship with my daughter, my parents, my siblings, my boss and my co-workers. Conflicts can be handled in a more effective and positive manner. Expectations of others can be clearly defined. Compassion for others has been greatly expanded.” — Robert

 “I’ve watched many men here in this prison grow, and learn to love themselves and others. Just from these speical people (CTI) coming here and teaching us these special skills. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to thank them completely. But I hope this letter helps.” — Mark

“I found out I could make a difference with just the way I carry myself. I’ve learned to communicate better with my friends and most importantly, I reconnected the severed ties I had with my family. I learned to communicate with my wife and I’m actually having a pretty good relationship with them now.” — C



Measurable increases in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) have been demonstrated by participants in a lock-up facility. The measurements include a pre and post evaluation of the four EQ quadrants. The experiential and interactive components of our courses positively affect the participants’ experience of trust, ability to listen and hear, and ability to express thoughts and feelings. Course leaders have witnessed some powerful participant transformations from withdrawn to charismatic, hesitant to participatory, and defiant to receptive.


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