How an old Jarhead uses Buddhist principles to deliver the goods for the poor,
disabled and incarcerated
Gerald F. Stribling,
Grade or Focus
Social workers, policy makers, sociologists, socially-engaged
Buddhists, military veterans, social entrepreneurship and systems
change, veterans advocates, prison and parole workers, people who
enjoy “rock the system” stories.
public policy, prisoner re-entry, systems change, best practices, social
entrepreneur, veterans, case management, Buddhism, Buddhist, compassion,
corrections, prisons, human services, dharma
the Relationship, Stupid
tells the story of the Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Program, a
three-year pilot project that became one of the most successful
prisoner re-entry programs in history—until the Feds cut its
funding. IVTP’s program manager, Gerry Stribling, ran a “subversive”
operation based on the Buddhist wisdom Stribling learned in the
jungles of Sri Lanka. Trust and loving-kindness became the guiding
principles of a group of veterans helping other veterans reclaim
their lives after serving long prison sentences.
Stribling’s development as a respected social services professional
reflects his belief that “Buddhism isn’t something to believe in,
Buddhism is something to do.” It’s the Relationship, Stupid
offers solid, if provocative advice about enlightened public
services administration – the kinds of things the “bean counters”
don’t want to hear. Stribling’s irreverent, sometimes vulgar look at
helping the needy demonstrates that most human services delivery
systems can stand humanizing and improvement.
is a former Marine, teacher and highly regarded human services professional in
Louisville, KY. He studied Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and, although thought of as a
trouble-maker in several professional circles, Gerry has helped create a number
of innovative service delivery programs noted for their compassion, efficiency
and high-quality outcomes.
was critiqued by Cynthia Sherman, who wrote: “Many, many readers will benefit
from reading this material, and they will thank you for sharing your experience.
I am impressed with your knowledge, writing skills, and storytelling ability.
This material will be a great success, and I sincerely wish you luck with this
endeavor. However you will not need luck, as you have a fantastic and important
story to share.”